News / Africa

Ivory Coast President Confident Ahead of Runoff Vote

A supporter of President Laurent Gbagbo watches election results in Abidjan (File)
A supporter of President Laurent Gbagbo watches election results in Abidjan (File)

In Ivory Coast, a spokesman says President Laurent Gbagbo is confident of victory as he prepares for a runoff election later this month against former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara.  The election is the first presidential ballot in the West African nation in 10 years, when Mr. Gbagbo became head of state.

Neither President Gbagbo nor former prime minister Ouattara won a majority in Sunday's much-awaited presidential vote, so they will face each other in a second round run-off ballot at the end of this month.

Both campaigns are taking a break until Ivory Coast's constitutional court validates provisional results that show Mr. Gbagbo leading with about 38 percent of the vote, to just over 32 percent for Mr. Ouattara.  Former president Henri Konan Bedie finished third with 25 percent of the votes, and his party is calling for a recount.

In Abidjan Friday, Mr. Gbagbo's campaign spokesman, Affi N'Guessan, congratulated Ivorians on a peaceful, democratic poll and predicted Mr. Gbagbo would win the runoff, currently scheduled for November 28.

He says, in the first round Mr. Gbabgo dominated the southern part of the country, regardless of ethnicity.  According to the spokesman, Mr. Gbagbo won more than 45 percent of the votes in Abidjan, the West African nation's commercial capital, and also finished first in the western part of the country.  In the east, N'Guessan says, the president won more ballots than Bedie.

Supporters of presidential candidate and former President Henri Konan Bedie demonstrate outside his headquarters in Abidjan on 04 Nov 2010
Supporters of presidential candidate and former President Henri Konan Bedie demonstrate outside his headquarters in Abidjan on 04 Nov 2010

The campaign for both remaining candidates now focuses on winning over the 25 ercent share of the electorate that backeed Bedie.  The former president and Ouattara are part of the same opposition coalition, and they had pledged mutual support in the event of a runoff.  Still, President Gbagbo may be able to attract Bedie voters who are uncomfortable with Ouattara; the former prime minister was prevented from running for president in the past because of questions about his nationality.

Spokesman Affi N'Guessan says elections and politics are not simple arithmetic, and that one should not automatically conclude the opposition will win the second round because the sum of Bedie and Ouattara's first-round votes was larger than Gbagbo's total.  More important, the spokesman says, is the second-choice candidate for the voters who originally supported Bedie.

N'Guessan says Mr. Gbagbo's party is investigating suspicions of electoral irregularities in the northern part of Ivory Coast, where Ouattara dominated the first-round of the election.  The presidential spokesman says there large increases in the numbers of registered voters in that region.

The presidential election is meant to reunite Ivory Coast, which has suffered through years of instability.  A failed coup against Mr. Gbagbo in 2002 led to civil war that split the country between a rebel-held north and a government-held south.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network 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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez 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 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 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.

VOA Blogs