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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
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 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 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. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
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