Cote D’Ivore is in the midst of voting for its 2015 election, and live results are available online to show if incumbent president Alassane Ouattara can hold on amid growing unrest in the voting process.
The African nation goes to the polls on Sunday to elect a new president, with Ouattara seen as a large favorite. But the nation has been filled with turmoil, the BBC noted, with tensions high just five years after post-election violence led to the deaths of more than 3,000 people.
Those following the 2015 Cote D’Ivore election will be able to follow live results online, but some candidates are already calling into question how fair the voting might be. Candidate Charles Konan Banny just dropped out, saying he believed the election process was unfair. He alleged that voting irregularities allowed some to cast more than one ballot.
Banny, the former Ivory Coast prime minister, was the third of 10 candidates to pull out of the race for the presidency.
“After carrying through to the end the fight to push our leaders to spare Ivory Coast from renewed suffering, I have decided to withdraw from this unfair process,” he told a news conference (via Reuters).
— BBC Africa (@BBCAfrica) October 23, 2015
Ouattara, who once held a top position in the International Monetary Fund, is seen as close to a shoe-in for re-election. He has helped turn Cote D’Ivore into one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, though the foreign investments haven’t done much to improve the lives of average residents, Reuters noted.
Outtara himself was confident, saying at a final rally on Saturday that he expected a “first round knockout” and noted that many of his challengers were already falling to the side.
“How many candidates are there now?” Ouattara asked.
He has called on supporters to turn to the polls in large numbers.
— Reuters World (@ReutersWorld) October 22, 2015
There could be more uncertainty ahead. Outtara has promised to lower taxes and said he would not seek a third term if elected, but there is some concern among his critics that he could remain in power.
There are others seeking the presidency in Cote D’Ivore. Former prime minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan is representing the Ivorian Popular Front. Kouadio Konan Bertin, a former leader of the Democratic Party of Cote D’Ivore, has run on a platform of re-patrioting political dissidents.
The election requires a candidate to receive an absolute majority, and would go two rounds if needed. But many experts believe Outtara will not need a run-off. There is also the possibility for further turmoil, the BBC noted. Many former rebels have not turned in weapons, and the abundance of illegal firearms cast a pall over the election process.
There is also a chance that the violence that erupted in June — when Islamist terrorists attacked two villages — could once again occur.
Even if there is unrest, experts say a repeat of 2010 is unlikely.
“The atrocities of the 2010-2011 post-election crisis, in which more than 3,000 civilians died and 150 women were raped, are unlikely to be repeated,” Jim Wormington, a researcher with Human Rights Watch’s Africa Division, wrote in a recent report..
But Outtara is hoping for a peaceful election that will show the world how far Cote D’Ivore has come since the violence of 2010.
“Ivory Coast would like to set an example after the (2010) post-electoral crisis,” he said.
Those who want to follow live results of the 2015 Cote D’Ivore election can click here for coverage. Results of the election are expected to be finalized within two days.
[Image via YouTube]