SomaliPress.com

2 Dead in Ivory Coast Electoral Violence

Published on Monday 29th November 2010

Two people have been killed during Ivory Coast's presidential election, as both candidates complained of voting irregularities.

A government statement says a group allied with rebels who control much of northern Ivory Coast opened fire on soldiers and civilians, killing one member of the armed forces and one civilian. It says three people were injured in the attack in (the town of) Niboua, including one who is in critical condition.Voters tuning-in to state-run television for election results instead heard Interior Ministry official Auguste Zoguehi read a long list of allegations against opponents of President Laurent Gbagbo including attacks against Gbagbo representatives and broken ballot boxes.The Gbagbo campaign says voting was not transparent in northern areas that support former prime minister Alassane Ouattara. The Ouattara campaign says many of its supporters were unable to reach polling stations Sunday because they were blocked by Gbagbo supporters.The head of the European Union observer mission, Cristian Preda, says his team saw barriers in several places, blocking both Ouattara and Gbagbo supporters from the polls.President Gbagbo imposed an overnight curfew, to contain pre-election violence that had already killed at least six people. The curfew remains in effect from 7 pm to 6 am Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.Mr. Ouattara says his supporters will disobey that curfew because he says it is illegal and is meant to stifle opposition.This vote is meant to reunite the country after a brief civil war. President Gbagbo finished just ahead of Mr. Ouattara in the first round of voting. Much of the contest in this second-round run off has focused on winning the one-quarter of voters who chose former president Henri Konan Bedie in the first round.Vote counting is underway, but it is not clear when the first results may be announced. The electoral commission initially said it would begin releasing returns within hours of polls closing.

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