President Alassane Ouattara’s wife and spokesperson said opposition leader and former Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan were arrested on Saturday for setting up rival government following President Alassane’s election victory Ouattara.
Prosecutors in Ivory Coast are pursuing terrorism charges against more than a dozen opposition leaders boycotted the October 31 vote, in which Ouattara won a third term in office and declared their father is forming a transitional committee.
The deadlock has raised concerns about prolonged instability in the world̵7;s top cocoa producer, where the controversial 2010 presidential election led to a brief civil war. More than 40 people have died in clashes before and since the last vote.
N’Guessan was arrested overnight after the prosecutor confirmed on Friday that he was being sought after by police, his wife, Angeline Kili, told Reuters.
“I confirmed that my husband was arrested that night, but I don’t know where he is,” she said.
Geneviève Goëtzinger, spokesman for N’Guessan, said on Twitter that he was arrested in the southeastern town of Akoupé while on his way home to Bongouanou.
The police were not immediately available for comment.
N’Guessan served as prime minister from 2000-2003 under President Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to give in to Ouattara after the 2010 election that led to a civil war that left about 3,000 people dead.
The opposition claimed Ouattara had violated the constitution while seeking a third term. Ouattara said approving the new constitution in 2016 restarted his duties and allowed him to run for reelection.