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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent 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