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

Bleak China Economic Outlook Rattles Markets

Several key European stock indexes were down up to three percent, while US market indexes were off around 2.5 percent in afternoon 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