afrol News, 2 December - Followers of Côte d'Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo are preventing the electoral commission from releasing the run-off poll results. Also the Abidjan offices of the opposition have been attacked.
The Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) had a midnight deadline to publish the results of Sunday's presidential election run-off. But supporters of President Gbagbo, one of the two candidates, are preventing the CEI from declaring a winner.
President Gbagbo is claiming fraud and intimidation in the north of Côte d'Ivoire, the stronghold of opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara, which since the 2002 civil war has been controlled by the rebel Forces Nouvelles. According to the ruling party, the former rebels had forced voters to support Mr Ouattara.
While the President announced he would contest the results from the north, referring them to the Constitutional Court, his supporters are blocking access to the offices of the CEI, preventing it from announcing the results. Also journalists were barred from entering CEI offices.
CEI President Youssouf Bakayoko made his last public appearance on Sunday, saying the elections had went on well and announcing that the first partial results would start being published during Monday. Later, the CEI announced it would publish the results no later midnight yesterday. No further announcements have been made.
Meanwhile, followers of President Gbagbo are mobilising to defend their party's grip on power. According to reports from Abidjan, the largest city in Côte d'Ivoire, offices of Mr Ouattara's party were attacked today.
There are unconfirmed reports of several casualties following the clashes at the opposition offices. Local media report four dead and over ten injured so far.
Opposition leader Ouattara, who also has claimed election fraud in the southern stronghold of President Gbagbo, yesterday called for an "immediate" proclamation of the election results. Fraud allegations should be taken to court, Mr Ouattara said, adding that the President was trying to block the result because he lost.
He was followed by the UN, which has over 9,000 peacekeepers in Côte d'Ivoire to oversee the elections. Also UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday evening urged the CEI to announce the results “without delay". He further warned all sides in Côte d'Ivoire not to interfere with the work of the CEI.
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