News / Africa

Former Ghanaian President Kufuor Hails Peaceful Ivory Coast Vote

Prime Minister of Ivory Coast  Guillaume Soro displays his identity card as he speaks during a rally at a stadium in Bouake on 3 Oct 2010
Prime Minister of Ivory Coast Guillaume Soro displays his identity card as he speaks during a rally at a stadium in Bouake on 3 Oct 2010

Multimedia

Audio
  • President John Agyekum Kufuor, Ghana's former leader spoke with Clottey

TEXT SIZE - +
Peter Clottey

Ghana’s former President, John Kufuor, told VOA he was impressed with officials of Ivory Coast’s Independent Electoral Commission for conducting what he described as a peaceful vote Sunday.

Mr. Kufuor, who is the co-chairman of the U.S.-based Carter Center poll observer mission to Ivory Coast, said the stability of the country will have a positive impact on the entire West African sub-region.

“I touched through the counting at a polling station and I must say that I was impressed. The presiding member and the election officials, they all seemed to know what they were about. And, they did everything so transparently that, at that particular station, I felt the performance has been as good as any I have observed anywhere,” he said. “So, I hope that it will be the same across the country so that the results will be accepted by all.”

Ivory Coast held a long-delayed presidential election Sunday designed to reunite the country split in half by the 2002 civil war. Journalists reported long lines of voters Sunday in the main city of Abidjan and a generally peaceful atmosphere, although there are fears of post-election unrest.

John Agyekum Kufuor, Ghana's former president
John Agyekum Kufuor, Ghana's former president

The election features 14 candidates, including incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, who has held office since the last presidential vote in 2000. His main rivals are former president Henri Konan Bedie, who was toppled in a 1999 coup and former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara.

Mr. Kufuor said Sunday’s vote is a first step towards the country’s stability.

“It will mean a lot if everything should end well with the elections here in Cote d’Ivoire because Cote d’Ivoire, as you know, has been very central with the West African economy and it’s a place of convergence. The African Development Bank was sited here and it’s the number-one cocoa growing country in the whole world,” Mr. Kufuor said.

“With peace restored here and the government running normally in Cote d’Ivoire, the country will be able to take its proper place within ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) so as to cooperate with nations like Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal to help move the objectives of ECOWAS to the benefit of the entire sub-region of West Africa.”

Current Prime Minister Guillaume Soro said Saturday that everything was ready for the vote, and that even years of delay have not dampened voter enthusiasm.

However, many Ivorians expressed concerns that losing candidates will reject the results and trigger a new wave of violence in the West African country.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid