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Results Expected in Ivory Coast Vote

  • VOA News

Men read newspaper headlines after recent elections near the entrance to the local zoo, right rear, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Monday, Oct. 26, 2015.

Men read newspaper headlines after recent elections near the entrance to the local zoo, right rear, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Monday, Oct. 26, 2015.

Ivory Coast's election commission is expected to announce Tuesday the first results from an election that was widely expected to give President Alassane Ouattara another term in office.

The commission has already estimated turnout from Sunday's vote at around 60 percent, though a civil society group put the figure at 53 percent.

The opposition National Coalition for Change expressed further doubts about the turnout, saying many Ivorians stayed home and fewer than 20 percent actually voted.

Three opposition candidates pulled out before the vote and alleged irregularities, such as concerns about a voter list they said had many people registered twice. On Sunday, some voting stations had to stay open late after voting materials did not arrive on time and computer tablets used to verify identities malfunctioned.

But international observers, including those from the African Union and the West African bloc ECOWAS, said the voting was free and fair.

The election is seen as an important test for the country following the post-vote violence five years ago that left at least 3,000 people dead.

Ouattara said he wanted to win a "first round knockout."

In 2010, Ouattara lost the first round to President Laurent Gbagbo, but official results showed him winning the run-off election. A Gbagbo-controlled constitutional council threw out some of the ballots and declared Gbagbo the winner.

The international community recognized Ouattara as the winner, but Gbagbo refused to step down, setting off five months of violence that ended with Gbagbo being captured by pro-Ouattara forces backed by French special forces. Ouattara later assumed power.

Gbagbo is in custody at the International Criminal Court and due to go on trial November 10.

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