Heads of states from Benin, Togo, and Ghana watched as Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara took the oath of office on Monday for the third time, in the midst of a political crisis.

Last month, he won a controversial third term in office in an election boycotted by the opposition.

He addressed the political situation in his speech, announcing that he was instructing the prime minister to organize discussions with political parties before legislative elections due early next year.

The Ivorian president then promised to create a ministry of social cohesion as the country is still divided by the recent electoral process.

He called on the opposition to seize the opportunity to help ease the tense political climate to enable dialogue.

President Ouattara declared that education, health, and youth unemployment were his major priorities. He also said that the country will receive its first Covid-19 vaccines in April next year.