Cote d'Ivoire extends curfew to Sunday: statement

09:47, December 02, 2010      

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Cote d'Ivoire has extended the election curfew to Sunday, the state television quoted a statement from the government as saying on Wednesday.

Cote d'Ivoire imposed the curfew across the country effective from Saturday night, one day ahead of the presidential run-off, which was aimed at preventing violence which is feared to break out before and during the presidential run-off.

The curfew was originally planned to end on Wednesday.

Cote d'Ivoire held the presidential run-off on Sunday during which incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo and former prime minister Alassane Ouattara competed for the top office of the country.

Three days after the presidential run-off, Confusion is surrounding the publication of the presidential run-off results after Tuesday's incident, in which representatives of the incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo within the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) interrupted the announcement of the results.

They accused the rival Alassane Ouattara of committing electoral malpractices.

CEI spokesman Bamba Yacouba was confronted by the two representatives of Gbagbo when he was preparing to announce the partial results from the interior of the country.

"These results are not accurate," they cried out, before one of them, Damana Pickas, grabbed the documents from Yacouba and tore them into pieces.

Awaited since Sunday, the provisional results have not yet been delivered and CEI only managed to announce results of votes cast by Cote d'Ivoire nationals in the diaspora on Monday and promised to announce more results from the interior of the country on Tuesday.

The live broadcast from the studio of Radioffusion Television Ivoirienne (RTI), which had been set up at the CEI headquarters, did not proceed and the RTI technicians started dismantling their gadgets without any official explanation.

While waiting for the results, many people stayed in their homes with streets of Abidjan practically deserted.

Meanwhile, different camps were addressing numerous press conferences.

The Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP), a coalition of parties supporting Ouattara, denounced what they termed as "a holdup of power by Laurent Gbagbo."

The group's spokesman Mabri Tiokeusse said he was sure that RHDP will emerge victorious since Ouattara received over 80 percent of the votes from supporters for former president Henri Konan Bedie, who garnered 25 percent in the first round held on Oct. 31.

He called on CEI to maintain its independence and continue with the announcement of election results.

The headquarters of Gbagbo's campaigns called for the "cancellation" of results from the north, especially from Seguela, Korhogo and Odienne regions, claiming that the voting exercise in these areas was not fair.

The country remains divided with the ex-rebel New Forces (FN) holding the north and Gbagbo's government controlling the south since the 2002-2003 civil war.

The FN denied the allegations from Gbagbo's camp about election fraud.

"These allegations are fabricated because in the zones under the control of the FN, the voting exercise went on peacefully and therefore the issue of cancelling results does not arise, especially in the three regions that have been cited by the presidential camp," FN spokesperson Affousy Bamba said at a press conference.

She called on CEI to do its work and announce the results.

The head of the United Nations Operation in Cote d'Ivoire (ONUCI), Choi Young-jin, said on Monday that the election was "generally done in a democratic manner," despite the few incidences of violence which turned out to be serious in some cases.

The observer missions of the European Union (EU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF) also made the same observation and called on CEI to publish the results as soon as possible.

Source: Xinhua


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