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Ivory Coast President Will Contest Vote

Ivory Coast President Will Contest Vote - Ivory Coast's president said Tuesday he plans to contest some results of a presidential poll already marred by opposition accusations of violence and voter fraud.

Full results of Sunday's runoff poll have not been released, but a spokesman for President Laurent Gbagbo's campaign said he plans to contest votes in three regions of the country's rebel-held north. In those areas, he said, supporters of Gbagbo's opponent tried to steal ballot boxes and take Gbagbo supporters hostage.

Gbagbo campaign chief Pascal Affi N'Guessan said he had discussed the situation with United Nations mission chief Young-Jin Choi and will request that results from Savanes, Denguele and Worodougou regions be invalidated "because they didn't respect the norms of transparency."

Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, formerly the head of the rebel group that controls the north of the country, responded by saying that the government's reporting of violence on national TV was "partisan, hasty and incomplete."

His spokesman, Affoussy Bamba denied that there had been any deaths in the rebel-held territory, and said there had been no attacks or tampering with ballot boxes.

Election observer Gerard Latortue, who was Haiti's former prime minister, said the election went well overall.

"In the West, we are used to getting results the night of the election," he said, "But you shouldn't forget that this is the first time there's been a real election here."

He added, "There was nothing at stake in previous elections here, they were decided in advance. But now everything's up for grabs."

Ivory Coast President Will Contest Vote


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