News / Africa

Vote Counting Underway in Ivory Coast Presidential Election

Election officials start counting ballots in the first round of presidential elections in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Sunday Oct. 31, 2010.
Election officials start counting ballots in the first round of presidential elections in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Sunday Oct. 31, 2010.

Vote counting is underway in Ivory Coast following Sunday's election to reunite the country eight years after the start of civil war.  

With the close of polling stations, Youssouf Bakayoko, the chairman of the country's Independent Electoral Commission, congratulated voters on taking part in this historic moment with calm.

Many polling stations in Abidjan opened late.  But when they did open, the process appeared to go smoothly with most people voting well before polls closed.

Vote counting began immediately, with electoral officials snipping the blue plastic security bands on ballot boxes and piling ballot papers on classroom desks in the presence of candidate representatives and, in some cases, international observers.

There has been some dispute about how the votes will be tallied.  The electoral commission last week announced that all votes would be counted by hand.  Prime Minister Guillaume Soro then announced they would be counted electronically by a company owned by a member of President Laurent Gbagbo's reelection campaign.

A compromise brokered by regional mediator Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore says the votes will be counted by hand and by machine, with a committee of independent experts overseeing the electronic count.

Prime Minister Soro says nothing that committee does will infringe on the authority of the electoral commission. The prime minister says the most important thing is that the electoral commission alone will announce the indisputable results of this poll.  With as many as 14 candidate representatives and eight other observers at each polling station, the prime minister says the counting of the vote will be transparent.  

Election observer John Stremlau is Vice President for Peace Programs at the Carter Center.  He says more important than the way the votes are counted is that everyone agrees on how they are counted and that all of the votes are counted the same way. "Let's have the election unfold according to the agreement and play within the rules agreed to.  That's all we can say," he said.

The electoral commission has three days to announce results.  But preliminary returns from more than 20,000 polling stations are expected to come in during the next several hours.  If none of the candidates wins more than half of the votes, there will be a runoff between the top two finishers.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid