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Ivorians Fear Violence at Polls on Voting Day

Threat of violence as election day approaches in Côte d'Ivoire.   -  
Copyright © africanews
AFP

Ivory Coast

Potential Electoral Crisis

This Saturday, October 31, 7.5 million Ivorians are called to the polls.

The head of an NGO and partner of the IEC expresses reservations about a massive voter turnout at the polls as the violence that has punctuated the election campaign forecasts a turbulent voting day.

Lara Mylène Epse Camara, the National Coordinator of WANEP, shared her thoughts, "In any case, we anticipate a rate of participation that should not be that of 2010 where Côte d'Ivoire surprised the world with almost the entire electoral population that went to the polls. Because we see people travelling, taking tickets and leaving Abidjan, while they live here. This implies they were registered here. When you live here and because the elections are coming up you leave your place of residence, it means that it's going to have an impact on the voter turnout. So Ivorians are going to leave, but maybe not to the extent that we hope."

The government plans to deploy more than 35 thousand police and military forces to secure voting stations throughout the country.

The opposition, for its part, promises to disrupt the polls by all legal means.

A local, Serge Kouassi, at the micro-polling station, expressed his fears, "I'm even very scared because I don't even know what's going on. I see information on Facebook, they show they have hacked people to death, in Yamoussoukro they fought here. So I myself am in Koumassi, there is nothing in Koumassi, but I don't want to lie to you, when I wake up in the morning, I say thank you to God.''

Another local, Meledje, a micro-trotter, is also rather anxious, ''We hear a lot of things and we also see a lot of things on social networks and some of the information that we also get. At the moment, there is fear in our stomachs and there is a bit of serenity.''

Just over 3 million people out of the 7.5 million registered, have collected their voter cards. Time will tell if numerous Ivorians will go to the polls.


Standup

Nearly 235,000 voter cards have been stolen or burned by individuals clearly opposed to the holding of the elections.

The IEC reassures that security will be guaranteed until the end of the electoral process.

- Yannick DJANHOUN, Abidjan, Africanews.

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