See also:
» 06.05.2011 - Ouattara now formally Ivorian President
» 08.12.2010 - Pressure mounts against Côte d'Ivoire "coup"
» 03.12.2010 - Gbagbo "coup" in Côte d'Ivoire
» 02.12.2010 - Opposition wins Côte d'Ivoire poll
» 02.12.2010 - Clashes as Côte d'Ivoire poll results blocked
» 17.11.2010 - Côte d'Ivoire gears up for run-off poll
» 02.11.2010 - Ivorian elections so far successful
» 15.10.2010 - No lifting of Côte d'Ivoire sanctions

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Côte d'Ivoire

High turnout at Côte d'Ivoire poll

A polling station in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

© Basile Zoma/UN Photo/afrol News
afrol News, 30 November
- Election observers have hailed Sunday's second poll round in Côte d'Ivoire, estimating turnout at around 70 percent. But now, tension is growing as the election commission has had to delay the results.

International election observers, including from ECOWAS, the European Union (EU) and the US-based Carter Centre, generally have hailed the organisation of the vital run-off between presidential candidates Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara.

Also the UN hailed Sunday's polls. The head of the UN peacekeeping force in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), said the mission was "encouraged to note that along all the five observation routes it established, representatives of both candidates were present in all the polling stations."

"As was the case on the day after the first round, the moment has come to safeguard the result. I have no doubt that the will of the Ivorian people, as expressed yesterday, will be respected. I also have no doubt that no candidate will resort to undemocratic means to express his position on the result of the poll," the UNOCI leader said.

Until now, the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) had done a good job, observers and the UN noted. "I invite everyone to have confidence in the CEI so that it can begin announcing the provisional results," the UN peacekeeping chief added.

But the CEI today has been halted in its work, seeing its offices blocked and receiving fraud allegations by both incumbent President Gbagbo and northerner and former PM Ouattara. As a consequence, the CEI announced it would delay the announcement of results, which were expected to start ticking in today.

President Gbagbo, a southerner, claimed there had been fraud and incidents of intimidation in the Muslim north of Côte d'Ivoire, the stronghold of opposition leader Ouattara. Mr Ouattara, for his sake, claims the CEI is instructed to falsify results in favour of the incumbent.

Followers of the two parties represented by Mr Gbagbo and Ouattara have a history of violent clashes. Only on Saturday, youths supporting the opposition demonstrated in Abidjan's northern suburb of Abobo after the Government declared a curfew. The protest degenerated into clashes with the security forces, resulting in the burning of a police vehicle and the death of three people among the demonstrators.

There is therefore an increased concern the announcement of the results could lead to further violence in Côte d'Ivoire; or even the north-south division to deepen again.

The elections, originally scheduled for as far back as 2005 and repeatedly postponed, were seen by the UN as "a major step in restoring stability in the country," which was split by civil war into a government-held south and rebel Forces Nouvelles-controlled north in 2002.

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