News / Africa

Election Observers Prepare for Sunday's Ivory Coast Vote

A man walks past an election poster for incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, as presidential campaigning kicked off, 15 Oct. 2010 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast
A man walks past an election poster for incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, as presidential campaigning kicked off, 15 Oct. 2010 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Election observers in Ivory Coast are preparing for Sunday's presidential vote. Local and international observers will monitor a poll that is meant to reunite the country after a decade of political and military turmoil.

European Union observers met for a final briefing before taking up positions across the country.

European Parliament member Christian Preda, who leads the observer mission, says the European Union has had 32 election observers in place since October 15. The teams taking up positions today will visit a cross-section of polling stations in 17 regions to monitor preparations for the vote, the distribution of voter cards, candidate campaigning and the role of the media in covering the campaign.

The EU mission will announce its preliminary findings on the fairness of the poll within two days of Sunday's vote and will keep some observers in Ivory Coast during the post-electoral period as well.

The United Nations observer mission and the Economic Community of West African States will also monitor this vote, along with 34 local civil society groups registered with the electoral commission as official observers.

Marie Paule Kodjo, who runs the nonprofit Women's Committee for Elections and Reconstruction, says her group's volunteers have taught voters across the country how to mark their ballots. For example, she says they are telling voters to mark only within the box under their candidate and not to fold the ballot, as the ink could mark the other side of the page and make the ballot invalid.

Ten years ago, about 18 percent of ballots were declared invalid. Kodjo says the goal for this vote is to see the number of spoiled ballots below ten percent.

Nane Amelie Kipre says the group's observers have been trained to remain neutral.

On poll day, Kipre says observers will watch for any disruptions and work to promote a peaceful environment. She says sometimes when people see your electoral card, they categorize you. Kipre says someone wearing a traditional boubou might be assumed to be a supporter of Alassane Ouattara, so observers will watch for any prejudicial treatment.

Ouattara is one of the three leading candidates in this vote along with current President Laurent Gbabgo and former president Henri Konan Bedie. If no one wins a simple majority Sunday there will be a second round run-off in late November.

Voter turnout is not only important for the candidates. It reflects the level of public support for an electoral process that has been repeatedly delayed since 2005.

Volunteers from the Women's Committee for Elections and Reconstruction are encouraging people to go to the polls.

Volunteer Pierre Octave Guede says some people are apathetic about the candidates and others only registered to vote to get a national identity card. He says the right to vote is more important than an identity card. He is troubled by young people in his neighborhood who say they just wanted the ID card and do not care about voting. That, he says, is a problem.

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend 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.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More