News / Africa

Curfew to Follow Sunday Vote in Ivory Coast

People watch on a big screen as Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo talks during a live debate on national television with Ivory Coast opposition leader Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, 25 Nov 2010
People watch on a big screen as Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo talks during a live debate on national television with Ivory Coast opposition leader Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, 25 Nov 2010

Ivory Coast's president says there will be an overnight curfew following Sunday's vote to prevent post-electoral violence. Hostility between the rival candidates led to one death ahead of the country's first-ever presidential debate.

President Laurent Gbagbo and former prime minister Alassane Ouattara are in their final day of campaigning Friday. There will be a day of reflection on Saturday ahead of Sunday's second-round runoff.

President Gbagbo says there will be an overnight curfew following that vote. In a nationally-televised debate late Thursday, Mr. Gbagbo announced that after 10 pm Sunday, police and gendarmes will clear the streets so there is no violence and no interference with the transmission of ballots to the electoral commission.

In that debate, Mr. Gbagbo blamed Mr. Ouattara for the country's continuing instability.

In August of 2002, President Gbagbo says, Mr. Ouattara threatened to make the country ungovernable. Mr. Gbagbo says he does not like that statement, not as the president, but because it has not brought and security to Ivory Coast. He says Mr. Ouattara is responsible for all the instability in the country between 1999 and today.

Mr. Ouatarra says it is easy to accuse someone without proof or investigation. At the time of the 2002 coup attempt, he says President Gbagbo called it an opportunity for democracy. When President Gbagbo returned from Libreville, he was escorted by soldiers through the city of Bouake. Yet despite all that, Ouattara says he never accused the president of being responsible for that instability.

As a former economist, Mr. Ouattara said voters can trust him to draw more foreign investment to Ivory Coast. President Gbagbo said people are not necessarily looking for a good economist. Great leaders, he said, must know how to lead a state.

This election is meant to reunite the country after a brief civil war divided north from south. But campaigning has revived many of the underlying divisions between the regions.

Mr. Ouattara trailed President Gbagbo in the first round, so to win on Sunday, he needs votes from other regions to add to his traditional base of support in the north. He is counting on the endorsement of the third-place finisher, former president Henri Konan Bedie, to win over the ethnic Baoule vote in central regions.

President Gbabgo is campaigning for those Baoule voters by continuing to blame Mr. Ouattara for past violence and playing on some voters' misgivings about the former prime minister's nationality. Many people from the north are descendants of immigrants from Burkina Faso and Mali.

Both candidates ended the debate by appealing to their supporters to remain calm as hostility has grown in this last week of campaigning. Security officials say a Gbagbo supporter was stabbed to death by a Ouattara supporter in the western commune of Bayota.

A special security force in place for this vote is sending more troops to northern areas still controlled by former rebels. Additional U.N. peacekeepers are on the ground on loan from the mission in neighboring Liberia.

European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton says an increasingly radicalized campaign could pose security risks. While the first round was relatively peaceful, the International Crisis Group is warning that both candidates could now be tempted to contest the results in the street if they lose.

The U.N. is urging both candidates to refrain from declaring victory until the final election results are formally announced. First returns are expected late Sunday.



You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid