News / Africa

Voters in Ivory Coast Choosing New President

Long-delayed poll is meant to reunite the country eight years after the start of civil war

An unidentified man reacts to a campaign poster for incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, as presidential campaigning kicked off 15 Oct 2010 in Abidjan
An unidentified man reacts to a campaign poster for incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, as presidential campaigning kicked off 15 Oct 2010 in Abidjan

Voters in Ivory Coast are choosing a new president in a long-delayed poll that is meant to reunite the country eight years after the start of civil war.  

Many polling stations in Abidjan opened late, with long lines of increasingly-agitated voters pushing against gates guarded by members of a special security force.

Former Ghanaian President John Kufour is an observer for this poll.  He came to the Djibi 3 primary school to see how voting was going.  But three hours after polling was to begin, nothing had happened because the electoral commission representative was late.

"I have an uneasy feeling," Mr. Kufour said. "The crowd is getting restive.  I do not understand why it is taking so long.  People who are put in charge should do their work responsibly for the good of the public."

Crowds in Ivory Coast take part in campaigning ahead of Sunday's presidential election.
Crowds in Ivory Coast take part in campaigning ahead of Sunday's presidential election.

Voting eventually got under way, and once the gates opened and lines reformed inside the compound, the process appeared to run smoothly. Voters had their electoral cards checked against the voter roll.  Each person got a long paper ballot with fourteen candidate names, photos, and symbols which they marked behind a white cardboard partition before dropping in a clear plastic box.

Voters then signed the registry to show they had cast their ballot and dipped their finger in purple ink to prevent them from voting again.

Election observer John Stremlau is the vice president for peace programs at the Carter Center.

"We are concerned about the delay in opening," he said. "That should not happen.  But it does happen from time to time.  It is too early, as the president said, to draw any general conclusions, but we have had an exposure now that does merit some attention because people deserve to get their vote counted properly."

This is the first Ivory Coast election in wjhich more women are registered to vote than men.

Minata Ouattara says she voted for former prime minister Alassane Ouattara.

She says Ouattara is the right man for the situation and has the solutions to solve the country's problems, because he has many programs specifically targeting women including free maternity care which will benefit both women and their children.

Agnes Brou says she voted for former president Henri Konan Bedie.

Brou says Bedie truly has the qualities to be the head of state.  When he was president, Brou says, there were more jobs for everyone.  Bedie came to power following the death of Ivory Coast's founding father Felix Houphouet-Boigny in 1993.  But he was toppled in a military coup six years later, so Brou says he did not finish the work he began.

Agnes Ossiry says she voted to re-elect President Laurent Gbagbo.
Ossiry says of all the candidates, President Gbagbo is the best.  In the past eight years of crisis, civil servants were still paid their salaries despite all the problems.  That, she says, is truly an exemplary president.  He is the best candidate.

Results from more than 20,000 polling stations are expected within three days.  If no one wins an outright majority in this first round, there will be a second-round runoff between the top two finishers.

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs