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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid