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

(Xinhua)

09:36, December 12, 2011

A member of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) shows a 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)

ABIDJAN, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- 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.

The legislative vote is being boycotted by the party of former president Laurent Gbagbo, who was arrested in April and brought to The Hague recently for war crime trials. The party has vowed to withdraw from the process of national reconciliation.

In the economic capital Abidjan, the vote was feared to be delayed as necessary materials were not in place at some polling stations before the scheduled opening of the operation.

The vote was scheduled to open at 7:00 a.m. (0700 GMT) and close at 5:00 p.m. (1700 GMT). The results are expected within a week.

In the district of Yopougon, the stronghold of Gbagbo's FPI party, many polling stations were not open one hour before the beginning of the vote.

"We are waiting for the general commissar for the delay of the operations," said one of the local election official.

"There is a problem of bulletin of vote at the level of the CEI (electoral commission), so we are going to begin a little bit late, " said the chief of the polling station at the Sicogi 5 school.

At Koumassi, a community in the south of Abidjan, the polling stations were opened 30 minutes behind schedule, an election official told Xinhua on phone.

Around 5.7 million voters have been registered out of the country's 20 million or so population to cast ballots for a 255- seat parliament.

The FPI is calling on its members to stay at home.

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