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Ivory Coast Voter Registration Stopped Following Attacks


Ivory Coast election officials says they have suspended the nation's voter registration operation after attacks on election commission offices in the West African nation.

Election officials say the registration suspension is only temporary and they hope to resume the operation in a couple days.

The U.N.'s Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN) reports that residents in Ivory Coast's main city, Abidjan, say youths with clubs and stones vandalized a registration office in the city last week. IRIN reports other registration offices have been attacked since the operation began September 15.

The Ivory Coast elections are scheduled for November 30.

But last week an official with the Ivory Coast election commission told reporters the election must be postponed, saying it would be too difficult to complete the remaining voter registration work in time.

Analysts and opposition leaders have warned that preparations for the vote are running well behind schedule.

Earlier this month, representatives from the rebel New Forces movement in Ivory Coast urged electoral officials to postpone the election due to registration difficulties and delays in programs to demobilize former rebel fighters.

Elections in Ivory Coast have been delayed several times in recent years because of organizational problems and disagreements over who is eligible to vote.

The elections are aimed at ending a crisis triggered by Ivory Coast's 2002 civil war that split the country into rebel- and government-controlled areas.

President Laurent Gbagbo and rebel leader Guillaume Soro signed a peace deal last year that made Mr. Soro prime minister and set the stage for the election.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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