Ob­servers hail Ivo­rian elec­tion

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

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.

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