A calm vote, though with a limited turnout in respect to the past due also to logistic difficulties that caused numerous polling stations to open even hours late. This is how MISNA sources contacted in the Ivory Coast described Sunday’s presidential election.
More than the result, with exiting President Alassane Ouattara a favorite, there was strong concern over possible violence, after that of 2010 that left over 3,000 dead. A risk that so far appears to have been averted even in areas ore favorable toward Ouattara’s rival at the time, Laurent Gbagbo, currently on trial before the ICC (International Criminal Court). “Here five years ago there were clashes and victims, it is not an area favorable to Ouattara”, explained from Anyama, Father Eugenio Basso of the Society of African Missions (SMA). “The people yesterday instead followed the call of authorities to maintain calm, even though the turnout was different from polling station to polling station and many citizens after voting closed themselves in their homes from fear”.
A low turnout and calm also in Korhogo, not far from the border with Burkina Faso, an area traditionally close to Ouattara, theater in 2010 to unrest. “Also internal divisions made their mark. Gbagbo’s party divided into various currents and no clear indications arrived on a specific direction and also dissidents of Ouattara’s were orientated toward at least three candidates, two of whom withdrew before the start of the vote”, explained Father Marco Prada, a SMA missionary. What the people really want, stressed the missionary, “is peace”.
The first results of the vote are expected to be released in the next hours, according to the media, but the final outcome may not be confirmed until at least Friday, explained MISNA sources.