Observers hail Ivorian election
Election observers gave Ivory Coast’s presidential vote a clean bill of health on Monday and early estimates put participation at a healthy 60 percent, allaying fears poor turnout would mar the expected reelection of President Alassane Ouattara.
The late arrival of materials led the Independent Elections Commission (CEI) to extend voting in some polling stations by two hours on Sunday. Many of the computer tablets used to verify voters identities failed during the day.
However POECI, an Ivorian civil society organization that received backing from the Washington-based National Democratic Institute (NDI), said through its coordinator Drissa Soulama that it did not expect the problems to affect the results of the election.
Election observers and diplomats said Sunday’s vote, which is crucial to reassuring investors and turning the page on Ivory Coast’s violent political past, was held without major incident.
Ouattara, who has led the West African nation to an economic revival in the wake of a decade-long crisis and a brief 2011 civil war, is heavily favored to win a second fiveyear term.
Bertin Konan Kouadio, one of the six candidates seeking to unseat Ouattara, claimed that the process had been tainted by irregularities.
Another candidate, Simeon Konan Kouadio, said his campaign had been informed of massive fraud during the election.