Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

South African court rules Jacob Zuma should face corruption charges

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

A Royal Challenge from the Obamas

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Lights go out in Venezuela and Saudi Arabia goes green (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Stalemate in Spain and Protests in Paris (part 2)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Cinema, a French love affair

Read more

#TECH 24

'VR' immersive journalism

Read more

REVISITED

Nepal revisited, one year after the deadly earthquake

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

France's River Charente, a rich ecosystem

Read more

FOCUS

Libya: Who's running the country?

Read more

Africa

Uneasy calm as Ivory Coast holds first post-Gbagbo vote

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-12-11

Ivorians headed to the polls Sunday to vote in a parliamentary election which has been boycotted by the party of former president Laurent Gbagbo. The vote is seen as a crucial step towards recovery after a decade of conflict and political turmoil.

REUTERS - Ivorians voted on Sunday in a parliamentary election which is expected to see the ruling coalition of President Alassane Ouattara strengthen its rule in the world’s top cocoa producing nation.

More than 5 million voters are expected to cast their ballots in an election that marks the first time since 2000 the West African nation has been able to elect a parliament. 

The vote, boycotted by the party of former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo over allegations of unfair treatment of Gbagbo supporters, is seen as a crucial step toward recovery after a decade of conflict and political turmoil.

In Yopougon, a pro-Gbagbo stronghold in the country’s commercial capital Abidjan, voters trickled into polling stations while other polling stations waited for voters.

“All is calm, we are just waiting for voters,” said Vanessa N’Dri, head of a polling station in Yopougon, who said she was still waiting for the first of about 400 registered voters.

Ouattara’s ruling coalition, which includes his RDR party and the allied PDCI, appears set for a landslide win based on voting patterns during the first-round of last year’s presidential polls.

Ouattara won presidential elections in November 2010 but was only able to take the reins of power in April after fighters backing him invaded the economic capital Abidjan and captured ex-leader Laurent Gbagbo, who had rejected the results.

Gbagbo has appeared at the International Criminal Court at The Hague to face charges of crimes against humanity, including murder and rape. 

Pockets of lingering tension and violence in parts of the country, particularly in the west, have reinforced worries of trouble during the polls, which will be secured by local and United Nations forces.

In Gagnoa, Gbagbo’s birthplace in the west of the country, the tension remains palpable over Gbagbo’s transfer to The Hague.

“There are SMS messages circulating in the area asking people not to vote,” said Joel Zadi who lives on the outskirts of Gagnoa. “People did not like Gbagbo’s transfer.” Nearly 1,000 candidates are vying for the National Assembly’s 255 seats, according to the electoral commission.

The results of the poll are expected during the week.

Campaigning has been mostly peaceful so far, though three people were killed on  Wednesday in a rocket blast at a rally in Grand-Lahou, in the southwest.
 

Date created : 2011-12-11

  • Africa

    Ivory Coast legislative polls open amid tension

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Boycott by Gbagbo party clouds Ivory Coast polls

    Read more

  • Ivory Coast

    Rocket attack mars run-up to Ivory Coast polls

    Read more

COMMENT(S)