News / Africa

Ivory Coast PM: Nation Ready for Election Sunday

Prime Minister of Ivory Coast Guillaume Soro displays his identity card as he speaks during a rally at a stadium in Bouake on 3 Oct 2010
Prime Minister of Ivory Coast Guillaume Soro displays his identity card as he speaks during a rally at a stadium in Bouake on 3 Oct 2010

Multimedia

Audio

Ivory Coast's prime minister says the country is ready for Sunday's presidential election with a special security force in place and a commission of experts waiting to supervise the electronic counting of ballots.

The prime minister says the country is on the verge of an historic date for the Ivorian people. He says campaigning ended Friday under good conditions and his government is satisfied with the conduct of the 15-day campaign.

The vote is meant to reunite the country eight years after the start of civil war. It is an election that has been repeatedly postponed since 2005, most recently just this February when President Laurent Gbagbo dismissed his government and dissolved the electoral commission because he said hundreds of thousands of people were illegally registered to vote.

President Gbagbo eventually agreed to a new voter list along with the other leading candidates in this vote - former prime minister Alassane Ouattara and former president Henri Konan Bedie.

Prime Minister Soro Saturday told reporters that years of delay have not dampened voter enthusiasm.

It has been a long, difficult route the prime minister says, but the country's leaders have taken the time needed to find consensus and make the proper preparations for these elections.

Mr. Soro is a former rebel leader who became prime minister as part of a regional peace plan. He says an 8000-strong special security force is in place for this vote which will be conducted in areas both under government control and parts of the north that are still under the command of Mr. Soro's former rebel New Forces movement.

The prime minister says Ivory Coast is an important country in the region, in Africa, and in the world at large. On Sunday, he says, voters here can show that they can hold a peaceful election that is supported by everyone.

In this run up to this vote, there has been some confusion about how ballots will be counted. Last week, the electoral commission announced that all votes would be counted by hand. The prime minister then announced they would be counted electronically by a company owned by a member of President Gbagbo's re-election campaign.

A compromise brokered by regional mediator Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore says the votes will be counted both by hand and machine with a committee of independent experts overseeing the electronic count. That committee includes technicians from the prime minister's office, the electoral commission, the Swedish technology firm Crypto AG and the United Nations observer mission here.

No matter how the votes are counted, Prime Minister Soro says nothing will undermine the ultimate authority of the electoral commission.

The prime minister says the counting of the ballots will be transparent. And the only official results will be announced by the independent electoral commission.

If none of the 14 candidates wins more than half the vote, there will be a second-round runoff between the top two finishers.

You May Like

Bleak China Economic Outlook Rattles Markets

Several key European stock indexes were down nearly three percent, while US market indexes were off around two percent in early trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs