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Côte d'Ivoire

Low turnout in Côte d'Ivoire's first post-Gbagbo poll

Reuters/Luc Gnago

There was a low turnout Sunday in Côte d’Ivoire’s first general election after the ousting of former president Laurent Gbagbo, whose supporters boycotted the poll. But voting day was calm after a campaign during which five people were killed.

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At midday there were far fewer voters than in last year’s hotly contested presidential election, which resulted in fighting between supporters of Gbagbo and those of current President Alassane Ouattara.

With Gbagbo’s Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) telling people to stay home, mobilising voters was the main challenge for Ouattara’s supporters.

Ouattara urged voters to ignore the boycott call, saying the new parliament would be "truly consensual [and] democratic ... and contribute to the strengthening of democracy in our country".

But RFI’s reporter and UN peacekeeping mission officials said that turnout was low.

That proved that the government is "illegitimate", according to FPI spokesperson Laurent Akoun.

"The masquerade has thrived. We are staying in our corner. We have given no call for violence or to prevent voters from voting," he said.

The FPI has called Gbagbo's transfer last week to the International Criminal Court a "political kidnapping" and said it will pull out of the reconciliation process.

Map of Côte d'Ivoire
RFI/Anthony Terrade
  • About 5.7 million of a population of 21 million are eligible to vote, with 150 international and 3,000 Ivorian observers.
  • About 25,000 members of the Ivorian security forces, backed by 7,000 members of the UN peacekeeping mission, have been deployed to ensure security.
  • Election results are expected mid-week.

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