Ivory Coast’s state prosecutor accused opposition leaders of terrorism and murder over their calls for a civil disobedience campaign and a transitional government.
The announcement risks inflaming tensions in the world’s top cocoa grower, where the opposition and the government have been in a standoff over last week’s presidential election. The opposition boycotted the vote after arguing that the constitution barred President Alassane Ouattara — who was declared the winner on Nov. 3 — from seeking a third term.
The opposition urged its supporters to join a civil disobedience campaign in the run-up to the election and this week called for a transitional government to prepare fresh elections — actions that Public Prosecutor Richard Adou said constituted crimes against the state.
“All the acts perpetrated and sponsored by the promoters” of the proposed transitional council intended to “undermine the authority of the state in order to achieve the overthrow of the institutions of the republic,” he said.
The authorities arrested 21 people on Nov. 3 at the home of the main opposition leader, Henri Konan Bedie, nine of whom have been released. Police are seeking two leaders of smaller parties — Pascal Affi N’Guessan and Abdallah Albert Toikeusse Mabri — Adou told reporters Friday in Abidjan, the commercial capital. Those prosecuted face life in prison if convicted, he said.
Bedie does not face arrest, Adou said.