News24

I Coast voters' list 'fraudulent'

2010-02-06 10:00

Abidjan - Ivory Coast investigators have concluded that a voters' list being drawn up for polls deferred five times after a failed 2002 coup is marred by "fraud", a judicial source said Friday.

"There has been manifest fraud," the source said.

The Independent Electoral Commission, or CEI under its French-language acronym, refutes the allegations but has acknowledged major problems in managing voter lists.

Elections were due in 2005 but have never been held due to security concerns and the country's failure to revamp its electoral list.

The poll is aimed at ending a crisis that began with an attempted coup against President Laurent Gbagbo in September 2002, which left the country split between the rebel-held north - which is mainly Muslim -- and a government-controlled Christian-dominated south.

Interior Minister Desire Tagro ordered the probe in mid-January after a local press report alleged fraud.

The scandal is damaging preparations for the crucial election.

Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, former leader of the New Forces rebel movement which had sought to oust Gbagbo, has ordered a full re-examination of the CEI's work.