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
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid