Côte d’Ivoire has re-elected its president Alassane Ouattara, an economist known for transforming a country devastated by civil war into one of the largest economies in West Africa. Ouattara won 84% of the vote, the Independent Electoral Commission said today (Oct. 28). His closest rival Pascal Affi N’Guessan, a former prime minister, won just 9% of the vote.
The race marks the first peaceful election in more than two decades. Ouattara told reporters that the result “definitely shows we have turned the page from the crisis our country went through.” Voter turnout was about 55%, according to the commission.
The former deputy managing director at the International Monetary Fund still has a ways to go in cementing his country’s recovery after almost a decade of conflict, including violence following his first presidential win in 2010 that left an estimated 3,000 people dead. This year, the economy is expected to expand almost 10%, after averaging about 8% for the past three years, faster than most of its West African peers.
Ouattara will be 78 when his term ends and will need to prepare a succession plan. So far he has not said he will seek a third term. Critics say he has not done enough to lessen poverty and encourage reconciliation after years of violence.