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

Photogallery Kyiv: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins 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.
Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Weeki
X
August 29, 2014 2:18 AM
The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid