Cote d'Ivoire election results could be anulled
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Long-awaited election results could be scrapped in Cote d’Ivoire’s landmark presidential election as supporters of President Laurent Gbagbo have levelled charges of fraud. By law the results must be published by the end of Wednesday.
Vote-related violence has claimed at least seven lives and fears of further unrest are mounting.
A curfew has been extended until Sunday, troops have been deployed to Abidjan, the nation’s largest city, and the atmosphere is tense, according to AFP.
Final tallies were expected Wednesday morning, but reporters are still being denied entry to the electoral commission’s headquarters, which are surrounded by soldiers and police.
The electoral commission is legally obliged to announce a winner by the end of Wednesday, but the result must then be confirmed by the Constitutional Council, headed by a close ally of Gbagbo.
United Nations and European Union observers have said that the election was well-conducted, overall.
In dispute are the results of four northern regions. Gbagbo allies vow to have them annulled while the rival camp, backing Alassane Ouattara, accuses the incumbent of attempting a coup.
"State television has Gbagbo's side of the story on repeat," said RFI correspondent Marco Oved in Abidjan. "It also broadcast statements from several dubious international observation missions which share the president's opinion that the election did not fulfill international norms."
France, which maintains a strong link with its former colony, has led international calls for the declaration of a winner and President Nicolas Sarkozy has backed the end of Wednesday deadline.
The African Union "strongly urged the Ivorian parties... in particular, to accept the verdict of the polls and the will of the people and, should this become necessary, to resort only to the mechanisms and processes provided for by the law for the settlement of any electoral dispute".
It is hoped the election will end the civil war which has raged since splitting the country in 2002.
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