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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs