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

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Russia’s Prosecutor General to Review Legality of Baltics Independence

Move, announced Tuesday, has alarmed Baltic States and strained even further their increasingly tense ties with Moscow More

US Urged to Keep Up Pressure on Cuba Rights

Communist government continues to hold dozens of political prisoners, tightly restricts freedom of expression, uses threats, intimidation to discourage critics, according to activist groups 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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs