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Ivory Coast president wants vote cancelled: party

Posted in África, Direito Internacional, Regiões by Rodrigo Solagna on 04/12/2010

ABIDJAN – Reuters 02/12/2010

By Tim Cocks and Loucoumane Coulibaly

President Laurent Gbagbo’s party asked Ivory Coast’s top legal body to cancel still unpublished election results due to alleged rigging by rebels supporting his rival Allasane Ouattara.

In a sign of mounting tensions between political camps in the west African state — where elections have been delayed repeatedly since 2005 — at least three Ouattara supporters were shot dead overnight in Abidjan as they waited for poll results, his party and a resident said.

“The gendarmes came and opened fire for a good while, killing four people and injuring over a dozen,” said Issouf Diomande, a representative of Ouattara’s party.

Allies of Ouattara, a northerner who denies links with the 2002-03 rebellion that split the country in two, say Gbagbo is stalling results from the November 28 run-off because he knows he has lost and that taking complaints to the Constitutional Council after blocking the electoral commission from releasing the tally would be illegal.

Gbagbo’s rivals also say the Constitutional Council, which has the final word on the election results, is biased because it is headed by Paul Yao N’Dre, a staunch Gbagbo ally.

Despite pressure from foreign governments, the electoral commission missed a Wednesday deadline to publish results of the disputed election. The entire election could be canceled if Gbagbo’s complaints are upheld by the council.

The run-off vote in the world’s top cocoa grower was meant to cap the process of reuniting the country, but has instead stoked deep divisions.

The United Nations warned politicians late on Wednesday they could be held responsible for any violence.

Pascal Affi N’Guessan, Gbagbo’s campaign chief, has said that rebel-led intimidation made voting impossible for Gbagbo supporters in the north, which is still run by rebels.

“It is because of all these irregularities that we have lodged a request to cancel votes … firstly with the Independent Election Commission and then with the Constitutional Council,” N’Guessan said on state television late on Wednesday.

Ouattara said the delay over the results was “unacceptable” and called on Gbagbo to respect them, but did not claim victory.


The United States, France and the United Nations have all called for results to be released without delay after election observers said the vote appeared generally free and fair.

“It is unacceptable for any party to hijack the democratic process, putting personal political ambitions above the will of the Ivorian people,” a spokesman for the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the world body “would safeguard the electoral process so that the will of the Ivorian people as expressed in the election will be respected.”

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