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Côte d'Ivoire: Presidential Election in Pictures

Categories: Sub-Saharan Africa, Western Europe, Cote d'Ivoire, France, Breaking News, Elections, War & Conflict

This post is part of our special coverage Côte d'Ivoire Unrest 2011 [1].

On this Sunday, October 31st, registered voters in Côte d'Ivoire cast their ballots [2] in the first presidential election [3] in 10 years, due to the Civil War [4] that broke out in 2002 and the subsequent issues that arose from it. The election date had been postponed six times since 2005, when Laurent Gbagbo's five-year mandate officially came to an end, amid rows over rebel disarmament and voter registration. A second round is scheduled for November 28.

Despite some initial delays in some polling stations, voting has been reportedly peaceful and the turnout appears to have been good. The African Elections Project [5] created a Twitter account [6] to follow the developments of the voting day, and various citizen journalists and Twitterers in Côte d'Ivoire also tweeted updates throughout the day using the hashtag #civ2010 [7]. Here is a selection of pictures of the voting day shared on Twitter:


Lines outside of polling station in Abidjan. Photo by AEP Côte d'Ivoire


Lines outside of polling station in Abidjan. Photo by AEP Côte d'Ivoire


Happy voter showing the ink mark on her finger after casting the ballot. Photo by Nnenna Nwakanma

While voters in Côte d'Ivoire enjoyed a relatively smooth and peaceful election day, it seems that their fellow Ivorians living in France had a harder time casting their ballots. About 11,500 voters were registered to vote in one of the 28 polling stations in the Paris region, but according to France24 [11], several of them failed to open on Sunday sparking anger among voters. Twitterer Jolan K [12] photographed some of the 500 voters gathered outside the Ivorian consulate in French capital’s swanky 16th district.


Ivorian expats waiting to vote at the consulate in Paris. Photos by Jolan K

American writer Carol Spindel, who wrote a book 20 years ago about life in an Ivorian village titled In the shadow of the sacred grove [14], recently traveled to Côte d'Ivoire to write about the presidential elections. For that purpose she set up a blog, One village votes [15], in which she's been documenting the electoral process. On Sunday she posted some photos [16] of the election day in the northern town of Korhogo:


Voting in Korhogo. Photo by Carol Spindel

A few days earlier, Carol visited a group of women in a village near Korhogo who were learning how to vote in the dark, with the aid of a flashlight and a photocopy of a ballot:


Women learning how to vote a few days before the election. Photo by Carol Spindel.

The results of the Sunday Presidential election should be officially announced within the next 72 hours.

This post is part of our special coverage Côte d'Ivoire Unrest 2011 [1].