Ivory Coast: Governing coalition in Ivory Coast buckles as election nears | AFP

An alliance between two parties that has governed Ivory Coast since 2010 broke down on Thursday, two months ahead of elections. The Ivory Coast Democratic Party (PDCI) announced it was “withdrawing” from an initiative by President Alassane Ouattara to create a joint party with his own organisation, the Rally of the Republicans (RDR). It added that it would contest municipal and regional elections in October “under its own banner”. The PDCI and RDR have been in an electoral alliance since 2005 — a partnership that brought Ouattara to power after elections in 2010 and enabled his re-election in 2015.

Ivory Coast: Ouattara Alliance Wins Ivory Coast Vote as Independents Gain | Bloomberg

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara’s ruling coalition won an almost two-thirds majority in parliament, while the victory of a record 75 independent candidates showed growing discontent with the government and the opposition. Ouattara’s Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace won 167 of the 255 seats contested in Sunday’s election, Youssouf Bakayoko, head of the electoral commission, told reporters in the commercial capital, Abidjan. It was the second parliamentary vote since the president took office five years ago after almost a decade of conflict. The Front Populaire Ivoirien party, which ruled from 2000 to 2010 and boycotted the last legislative ballot, took only three seats. Two smaller parties won nine seats between them while voter turnout was 34 percent, Bakayoko said.

Ivory Coast: Opposition seeks return to political mainstream in polls | Reuters

Voters in Ivory Coast cast their ballots in parliamentary polls on Sunday as the main opposition party sought to break President Alassane Ouattara’s near monopoly of the legislature in the West African nation. The Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), the largest opposition party, has largely boycotted politics since a 2011 war which saw then President Laurent Gbagbo, its founder, ousted and many of its leaders jailed. “We are confident that after this legislative vote, the FPI will make a remarkable and important return with a parliamentary majority,” FPI President Pascal Affi N’Guessan told Reuters. The FPI is fielding 186 candidates for the 255 parliament seats and is expected to make a strong showing. Ouattara’s supporters hold about 85 percent of seats in the outgoing National Assembly. Outtara said he expected Ivory Coast to have a “diversified parliament” after the polls and called for candidates to remain calm and respect results, due by Monday.

Ivory Coast: A referendum vote mirred by a low turnout and machete attacks | International Business Times

Abidjan was largely quiet and peaceful on Sunday (30 October) when there was a visibly low turnout in Ivory Coast’s constitutional referendum following a short campaign for changes the president said will help end years of unrest. Voters were asked to approve a draft constitution containing provisions that the opposition contended will significantly strengthen the power of the presidency, with one of the proposed modification effectively scrapping a clause that sets 75 as the age limit to be able to run for president. Led by 74-year-old President Alassane Ouattara and the ruling coalition, the ‘Yes’ camp campaign kicked off last week, while Human Rights Watch claimed opposition parties’ ability to explain their position to the public during their ‘No’ campaign had been “severely undermined”. Violence was reported in between 100 and 150 polling stations out of the nations’ 10,000. In some cases, stations were held up by young men with knives and ballot boxes were taken away, while others were attacked with men armed with clubs and machetes, according to Reuters. Overall, however, the issues lay with the process, participation and inclusiveness rather than the violence.

Ivory Coast: Violence and low turnout in Ivory Coast’s constitutional referendum | Reuters

Violence erupted at around 100 polling stations in Ivory Coast on Sunday as voters decided whether to approve a new constitution that President Alassane Ouattara argues will ensure peace in the wake of years of political turmoil. Elections worker Nandi Bamba was preparing to open the voting when a group of young men, some of them armed with clubs and machetes, attacked her polling station in Abidjan’s Yopougon neighborhood. “They demanded we stop working because the new constitution wasn’t for the people. Then they smashed the ballot boxes, scattered the ballots. They broke everything,” she said. Under Ouattara, Ivory Coast has made an impressive recovery since a 2011 civil war capped a decade-long crisis. The International Monetary Fund projects it will be Africa’s fastest growing economy this year. However, despite five years of peace, Ivorians remain deeply divided along political and ethnic faultlines. And both they and the investors who are now flooding in crave the stability that will allow the world’s top cocoa grower to cement its status as the continent’s rising star.

Ivory Coast: Will new constitution bring peace to Ivory Coast? | BBC

The people of Ivory Coast are going to the polls on Sunday to approve or reject a draft constitution which the government says will address the question of identity which has been at the heart of years of unrest. The draft constitution was adopted earlier this month by the National Assembly but opposition parties have called for a boycott, as they say the country already has one of the best constitutions in Africa. They also accuse President Alassane Ouattara of using it as a way of trying to nominate his successor. The most important change is contained in an article that removes the age limit of 75 and scraps the requirement that both parents of presidential candidates must be native-born Ivorians.

Ivory Coast: Ivory Coast votes on divisive new constitution | AFP

Ivory Coast goes to the polls on Sunday to vote on constitutional changes that President Alassane Ouattara says will help to end years of instability and unrest linked to the vexed issue of “Ivorian-ness”. The draft constitution put forward by Ouattara — which parliament overwhelmingly approved earlier this week — would also create a vice president picked by the president and a senate, a third of whom would be nominated by the head of state. The controversial package of changes has succeeded in both alarming opposition leaders and leaving much of the electorate confused. “All this, it’s madness! What concerns us is the cost of living and getting out of poverty. The rich get richer and the poor stay poor,” said Bamory Kone, a mechanic in Adjame, an area that mostly supported Ouattara’s run for the top job in 2015. “The constitution won’t change anything. I won’t be going to vote,” he added.

Ivory Coast: Results Expected in Ivory Coast Vote | VoA News

Ivory Coast’s election commission is expected to announce Tuesday the first results from an election that was widely expected to give President Alassane Ouattara another term in office. The commission has already estimated turnout from Sunday’s vote at around 60 percent, though a civil society group put the figure at 53 percent. The opposition National Coalition for Change expressed further doubts about the turnout, saying many Ivorians stayed home and fewer than 20 percent actually voted.

Ivory Coast: Polls close in peaceful Ivory Coast post-war presidential vote | Reuters

Poll workers in Ivory Coast began counting ballots on Sunday after a day of peaceful voting in a presidential election seen as crucial to turning the page on a decade-long political crisis and a civil war in 2011. President Alassane Ouattara, whose leadership has helped the West African nation re-emerge as a rising economic star on the continent, is facing a divided opposition and is heavily favored to win re-election. However, there were concerns that a boycott by part of the opposition coupled with voter apathy could result in low turnout. … “For the moment we are quite satisfied that everything is going ahead without any major incidents,” said Mariam Dao Gabela, chairperson of the Peace-CI civil society elections observer project. While the risk of poll violence was considered low, tens of thousands of soldiers, police and gendarmes were deployed across the country to secure the election, in which voters faced a choice of seven candidates for the presidency. More than 6 million Ivorians were registered to vote at some 20,000 polling stations nationwide.

Ivory Coast: Guide To Presidential Candidates, Key Issues And Voting Process | International Business Times

The ethnic and economic tensions that prompted Ivory Coast’s deadly civil war five years ago are flaring up again as the West African nation prepares to hold its first presidential election Sunday since the violence that left 3,000 dead and displaced 500,000 others. President Alassane Ouattara is all but expected to win a second term after overseeing an economic revival that has fueled investment in infrastructure and foreign trade. But the threat of post-poll violence looms amid growing complaints of inequality. “The vote will be a major test of the capacity of Côte d’Ivoire [French for Ivory Coast], which has a long history of election-related violence, to hold peaceful and democratic elections,” Jim Wormington, a researcher with Human Rights Watch’s Africa Division in Washington, D.C., wrote in a recent report. Whoever wins must spread the country’s recent economic wealth beyond urban areas and rebuild Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa grower, as an inclusive and united state to avoid another deadly war, experts said. Below is our guide to what’s at stake in Sunday’s presidential election.

Ivory Coast: What to expect from upcoming elections in the Ivory Coast | Ventures Africa

Ivory Coast presidential elections will take place on the 25th of October, and barely 2 weeks to the set date, there are already whispers of a ‘rigged’ election. Ivory Coast’s President, Allasane Quattara has been accused of colluding with the Electoral commission of the Ivory Coast to ‘sabotage’ the elections. Quattara, who is contesting for a second term in office through his party Rally of the Republicans, is receiving backlashes from opposition candidates who have called for dialogue with him. They reportedly want the dissolution of the Electoral Commission in the country. October’s election marks the first election held in this West African Country since 2010. The President of Ivory Coast in 2010, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to cede the Presidency to Allasane Quattara who had been declared the winner. This triggered a civil war that lasted 5 months and killed about 3,000 people. Allasane Quattara was later installed as the President through the combined efforts of the African Union and French forces. Laurent Gbagbo is currently awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Ivory Coast: Opposition calls for new electoral commission | Reuters

Ivory Coast’s opposition leaders rallied at the state television station and electoral commission on Monday to call for a new electoral body to replace one they said is biased in favour of President Alassane Ouattara’s government. Ouattara is tipped to win a second term at the Oct. 25 election after presiding over rapid economic growth in the wake of civil wars in 2002 and 2010, but his bid has been met with some unrest.

Ivory Coast: Ten Candidates to Stand in Ivory Coast Presidential Election | VoA News

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara faces a fragmented opposition in his bid for re-election next month. No less than 33 candidates had applied to run, with the Constitutional Court clearing a final 10. Ten candidates, eight men and two women, will compete in the October 25th presidential election in Ivory Coast. One of the questions the country’s Constitutional Council had to answer was whether incumbent Alassane Ouattara was eligible to run again. Some of his opponents claimed he did not meet all the criteria, but the council president, Mamadou Kone, concluded he did. He said that after inspecting Ouattara’s application he found it to be in keeping with the electoral legal requirements, and his name will be added to the final list of candidates to run for the presidency.

Ivory Coast: Opposition coalition threatens to obstruct elections | Reuters

A coalition of opposition groups in Ivory Coast threatened on Monday to try to block presidential elections in October unless the government opens talks on issues such as insecurity and the electoral commission. The National Coalition for Change (CNC), formed in May and led by former prime minister Charles Konan Banny, groups 13 political leaders, several of whom have declared themselves candidates in the Oct. 25 election. With the economy booming in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa exporter, President Alassane Ouattara is widely regarded as favourite. If no candidate wins a majority in the vote, a run-off will be held roughly two weeks later.

Ivory Coast: Ivorians braces for parliamentary elections | BBC News

United Nations troops are on patrol in the Ivorian commercial capital, Abidjan, as the country braces for parliamentary elections on Sunday. The vote is the first since presidential polls a year ago sparked months of violence after the incumbent, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to step down.

Mr Gbagbo is awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of crimes against humanity. His Ivorian Popular Front party has called for an election boycott. The former president and his supporters claim the electoral commission is loyal to the new governing party led by Mr Gbagbo’s rival, President Alassane Ouattara, and will falsify the results. They also accuses the army of intimidating supporters during the campaign.

Ivory Coast: Former Ivorian Ruling Party Quits Election Commission | VoA News

Ivory Coast’s former ruling party has pulled out of the electoral commission, saying the new government refuses to include opponents in planning for coming parliamentary polls. Ivory Coast’s president says he hopes the former ruling party will take part in that vote.

Former President Laurent Gbagbo’s party says it is quitting the electoral commission because the government of President Alassane Ouattara is refusing to engage in a dialogue on security, the electoral commission, and preparations for legislative polls.

Ivory Coast: Gbagbo party quits Ivory Coast election commission | AFP

The party of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo said it has pulled out of Ivory Coast’s election commission, which is preparing December polls aimed at normalising the country after a deadly political crisis.

The Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) “is suspending its participation in all activities of the Independent Election Commission,” party secretary general Laurent Akoun said in a letter to the body’s president Youssouf Bakayoko, dated Tuesday and released to the media on Wednesday.