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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid