Ivory Coast caution against unofficial vote results

The Ivory Coast`s election authority urged the country to not believe unofficial results from the weekend`s long-delayed presidential vote, reiterating it would announce the outcome by Wednesday.

Last Updated: Nov 02, 2010, 11:05 AM IST

Abidjan: The Ivory Coast`s election authority urged the country to not believe unofficial results from the weekend`s long-delayed presidential vote, reiterating it would announce the outcome by Wednesday.

Unofficial results started circulating soon after polls closed Sunday, amid fears that claims of victory by rival camps could trigger confusion or violence in a country emerging from a decade of turmoil and unrest.

The parties of the three main contenders -- incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, ex-president Henri Konan Bedie and ex-prime minister Alassane Ouattara -- also claimed Monday their candidate had won or would be in the runoff.

"We have three days (from Sunday) to deliver the results and we will deliver them within that time frame," Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) president Youssouf Bakayoko said late Monday.

"The proclamation of the results falls to the IEC," he said. "If by chance... people outside of the IEC give results, everyone must understand that they would be figures that are not valid."
Bakayoko said statements on the results had been slow to reach Abidjan from outlying localities, and there had also been problems with paying electoral agents.

World leaders including the United Nations have hailed the peaceful election, the west African country`s first for a decade, and urged candidates to respect the outcome.
About 80 percent of the 5.7 million eligible voters cast their ballots, the IEC said, describing the turnout as "historic".

Bureau Report