ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast - The internationally recognized winner of Ivory Coast's presidential poll said Monday that he and his supporters would march on state institutions in a bid to take control, and the European Union agreed on sanctions against the incumbent.
Incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo claimed victory in November's poll and has rebuffed calls from the United States, the EU, and the African Union to step down. The United Nations has recognized opposition leader Alassane Ouattara as the winner.
After setting up his administration in an Abidjan hotel, Ouattara said the march Thursday on government buildings and state TV sites was a high-risk bid to deprive Gbagbo of the trappings of his presidency.
Ouattara's prime minister, Guillaume Soro, said his camp would attempt to install its newly appointed station chief at the television headquarters. He said it would also hold a cabinet meeting Friday at the prime minister's office.
The TV and government buildings are occupied by officials loyal to Gbagbo and are heavily guarded by his forces. Soro did not say what the group would do if it met resistance.
"There is nothing to negotiate," Soro said when asked if he had told Gbagbo of his plans.
The announcement could intensify a standoff between the rival presidents that already has people on edge. Security forces have killed at least 20 people since the Nov. 28 vote, Amnesty International said. Ouattara's camp put the number at 63.
Also Monday, the EU said it would impose sanctions on Ivory Coast unless Gbagbo recognized Ouattara as the winner. The EU nations agreed to freeze the assets and impose a visa ban on anyone blocking Ouattara's assumption of power.
The EU "decided to adopt without delay targeted restrictive measures against those who are obstructing the process of peace and national reconciliation," the EU foreign ministers said in a statement. "Those measures will include a visa ban and an assets freeze," the statement said, adding that the measures would be imposed "without delay."
The most immediate effect of any sanctions would be the withholding of $340 million in EU development aid.