Tensions high in Cote d'Ivoire as voters await election results
Cote d’Ivoire is waiting for official results in Saturday's legislative election, with both the opposition and ruling party claiming victory.
The Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) is slated to continue rolling out the results on Monday, as the results of 148 constituencies out of 205 have been reported.
CEI President Ibrahime Kuibiert Coulibaly said on Sunday evening that the announcements were provisional and reminded the political parties and candidates that only the CEI had the power to give out results. He also reminded candidates that they could face prosecution for giving out results, especially if their actions incited violence.
The results that are available, however, show the ruling party in good stead: some 20 ministers and allies of President Alassane Ouattara were elected in their respective constituencies.
On Sunday, after results from the first two constituencies out of 204 were announced, the opposition party Democratic Party of Cote d’Ivoire (PDCI) of former president Henri Konan Bédié declared itself winner.
“We know that this country is in the middle of a mess and, quite naturally, we expected a victory. And therefore, we are entitled to claim victory,” PDCI’s spokesperson Niamké Koffi told RFI.
“We are warning the government against its attempts to manipulate which distort the validity of the ballot and lead to violence against us, the opposition.”
The ruling Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) party responded a few hours later, as Adama Bictogo, the second-in-command of President Ouattara’s party called the PDCI announcement “loser logic”.
Observers have feared a rise in tension between the two major political parties, and have called on all actors to refrain from announcing any victories until the official results are released.
Indigo initiative, one of the main observers at the legislative elections, delivered its conclusions late Sunday on the elections. The NGO, which had deployed 500 people to 1,429 polling stations, said the ballot went well overall.
However, they registered 190 incidents during the vote, ranging from ballot box theft to biometric tablet failures at polling stations.
Among its recommendations, Indigo said it was concerned about the statements of candidates and political parties before the proclamation of the results by the CEI, which is not in line with the fair play of an election.
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