News / Africa

Ivorians Vote On Sunday After A Long Delay

Men wait to retreive their identity cards as well as their electors cards for the presidential elections iin Bouake, Oct 27, 2010
Men wait to retreive their identity cards as well as their electors cards for the presidential elections iin Bouake, Oct 27, 2010
Anne Look

In Ivory Coast's long-delayed presidential poll Sunday, President Laurent Gbagbo will face key opposition candidates, Alassane Ouattara and Henri Konan Bedie.

Ivorians head to the polls Sunday to vote in the country's long-delayed presidential election.

The vote, which has been pushed back six times since 2005, pits current president Laurent Gbagbo against 13 other candidates, including opposition frontrunners, Henri Konan Bedie and Alassane Ouattara.

In the run-up to the poll, Ivorian authorities began distributing identity and voter cards for the first time in a decade. It was a landmark step, but the question of Ivorian identity has continued to underscore campaigning between the lead candidates, just as it did the 2002-2003 civil war and repeated electoral delays.  

On the campaign trail, President Gbagbo has represented himself as the country's liberator from its former colonial ruler, France, which he says supports his opposition rivals and supported northern rebels who tried to oust him in 2002.

Speaking to a rally in the western town of Man, Mr. Gbagbo says "no one can topple us with just some Kalachnikov, because we are ready to fight to be respected". He says he came to power through elections and he will go one day, either because he is no longer running for election or he is beaten in a poll.

Mr. Gbagbo, who has said he is confident of victory, has been president of Ivory Coast since 2000, though his mandate ran out in 2005.

Opposition members accused him of stalling elections to remain in power, but Mr. Gbagbo blamed technical reasons for electoral postponements.

At a rally in Abidjan Wednesday, candidate and former president, Henri Konan Bedie, said the situation in Ivory Coast has gotten worse in the past decade.

He says governance in Ivory Coast has declined and national unity has weakened. Poor management of international relations has isolated and weakened the country. He says democracy has been strangled, the media has been confiscated and human rights are violated.

Bedie was president of Ivory Coast from 1993 until 1999. He was seen as the chosen successor of Ivory Coast's first president, Houpheout Boigny, and he has promised to restore the country to that golden age.

In 1999, Bedie was ousted in a military coup. He was then barred from running in the 2000 elections in which he would have opposed coup leader Robert Guei and current President Gbagbo.

The 76-year-old candidate has said that if he wins this election, it will be his last mandate.

Bedie is part of an opposition coalition that includes former prime minister, Alassane Ouattara, who is Bedie's primary opposition rival in this first round of polling.

It will be Ouattara's first presidential poll. He was barred from elections in 1995 and 2000 because of questions about his nationality. Ouattara is from the northern part of the country where many people are descendants of migrant workers, and it was rumored that Ouattara's mother came from Burkina Faso.

At a campaign rally, Ouattara says "if we have not resolved our problems in the last ten years, we shall not manage to do so in the next five years."   He says "that is why we need change on October 31st." He says "we have to bring change democratically on this day. He says "that is why I came to ask you to vote Alassane Dramane Ouattara, for change in Ivory Coast."

A former deputy chief at the International Monetary Fund, Ouattara has promised to rebuild Ivory Coast and campaigned on the promise to offer "solutions" to Ivorians.

Opinion polls have put Gbagbo in the lead, but analysts say it will be a tight race that could most likely go to a second round.

Some Ivorians fear disagreements over the results of Sunday's poll could reignite violence, but candidates and the country's electoral commission have called for a peaceful vote.

An Ivorian force, composed of half government troops and half former rebel fighters and supported by U.N. peacekeepers, is responsible for security during the poll.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
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 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.
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 US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid