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Cote d'Ivoire holds legislative election amid reports of tensions, delay (2)

(Xinhua)

09:37, December 12, 2011

A local man casts his vote at a polling station in Abidjan, Dec. 11, 2011. Cote d'Ivoire holds the legislative election on Sunday amid tensions and inadequate preparations months after the West African country ended violence following the presidential polls in November 2010. (Xinhua/Zhao Yingquan)

The party threatened a boycott after Gbagbo was transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on Nov. 30, only days before the election campaigns were kicked off on Dec. 3.

At least five people were reportedly killed in the week-long campaigns including a bomb attack on Wednesday in the southwestern town of Grand Lahou, killing three people at a rally in support of President Alassane Ouattara.

Gbagbo and his wife were arrested and placed under house arrest on April 11 after a two-week bloody war in Abidjan at the end of political impasse following the presidential run-off in November 2010.

The ICC was authorized to investigate the eventual war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during these confrontations which left at least 3,000 people dead.

Meanwhile, the country's former combatants have voiced willingness to join the process of national reconciliation.

A large number of veterans gathered in Abidjan on Saturday night for a meeting to help achieve the concord and cohesion.

"We want to show that the men who fought in the wars can promote the peace," said Yassongo Kone, the president of the Fraternal Association of Fornmer Combatants.

Thousands of Africans fought wars on the side of France in armed conflicts including those in Algeria, Indo-China and the two world wars respectively breaking out in 1914 and 1939.

The voice of the ex-combatants add to Cote d'Ivoire's efforts to restore peace and stability after the post-election violence and a long-standing division between the pro-Ouattara north and the pro-Gbagbo south from September 2002 and April 2011.

To ensure the success of the ongoing election, Cote d'Ivoire has deployed 25,000 security forces, with the backing of 7,000 UN peacekeepers in the country.

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