Ivory Coast president's chief rival accepts election defeat

Former Ivory Coast prime minister Pascal Affi N'Guessan, leader of Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo's party, speaks during an interview with Reuters at his residence in Abidjan August 14, 2015. REUTERS/Luc Gnago (Reuters)

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Pascal Affi N'Guessan, who finished second in last weekend's Ivory Coast presidential election, on Wednesday accepted his defeat by incumbent President Alassane Ouattara, helping turn the page on a 2011 civil war and years of political turmoil. Ouattara won a blowout poll victory and a second five-year term with nearly 84 percent of votes cast in Sunday's poll, according to results announced by the West African nation's electoral commission early on Wednesday. "I recognise President Ouattara's victory," N'Guessan, who won a little over 9 percent, told journalists at his campaign headquarters. "We ran a good campaign, but the best candidate won." N'Guessan heads Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), the party of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo whose refusal to accept Ouattara's win in 2010 sparked the brief post-election conflict, which killed over 3,000 people. His concession of defeat is likely to reassure investors who have flooded into the world's top cocoa grower, drawn by growth around 9 percent over the past three years. Third-place finisher Bertin Konan Kouadio, who won just under four percent of votes, acknowledged Ouattara's victory on Monday, even before official results began to emerge. (Reporting by Ange Aboa; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Emma Farge/Jeremy Gaunt)