Cote d'Ivoire presidential elections open in calm

10:51, November 01, 2010      

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A voter casts ballot at a polling station in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, Oct. 31, 2010. Cote d'Ivoire held the West African country's first presidential elections in years, with polling stations opened on schedule Sunday morning. The electoral commission said 5.7 million voters have been registered to cast their ballots at 20,073 polling stations at home and abroad on Sunday. As many as 14 candidates are campaigning for the top post in the race. (Xinhua/Zhao Yingquan)



Cote d'Ivoire holds the West African country's first presidential elections in years, with polling stations opened on schedule on Sunday morning.

A long queue was witnessed at 7:15 a.m. (0715 GMT) for voting at the polling station in the residential area of Youpougon in Abidjan, the economic capital of Cote d'Ivoire.

The electoral commission says 5.7 million voters have been registered to cast their ballots at 20,073 polling stations at home and abroad on Sunday.

The situation remains calm with voting going on in the southern city of Abidjan and the ex-rebel stronghold Bouake in the north.

On Saturday night, the national army declared the closure of land borders until Tuesday to ensure security during the election.

The airports and sea ports remain open, but their function will be "reinforced" by security measures, an official communique said, calling on "all the people to strictly respect this measure."

Meanwhile, SMS is suspended throughout Cote d'Ivoire from "Sunday at 5. p.m. local time until Tuesday," according to the country's Telecommunications Agency.

If no one has an outright win, a second round will be held on Nov. 28, fielding the two leading candidates in the final duel.
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(Editor:张茜)

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http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90783/91321/7183502.pdf