Ouattara wins parliamentary majority - official

2011-12-16 10:02

Abidjan - Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara's party won a parliamentary majority in Sunday's elections, the chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission said on Friday.

The party of former strongman Laurent Gbagbo, who is awaiting trial in The Hague, boycotted the poll.

Ouattara's Rally of Republicans (RDR) won 127 of the 254 seats up for grabs, with its main ally, the Ivory Coast Democratic Party (PDCI), getting 77, election commission head Youssouf Bakayoko said on public television.

Turnout in the vote was 36.56%, higher than the 2000 elections, Bakayoko added. But it was well down from the November 2010 presidential election when more than 80% voted.

A by-election was to be held shortly to fill a 255th seat after the death of a candidate.

The ruling coalition of the RDR, PDCI and small groupings won about 220 seats.

Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) boycotted the country's first legislative poll since 2000, citing security concerns and the detention of the former president, whose release it says is a prerequisite for "reconciliation".

Ivory Coast - once a beacon of stability in western Africa - was plunged into bloody chaos when Gbagbo, 66, refused to accept defeat in a November 2010 presidential poll and held onto power for months.

The ensuing fighting left about 3 000 people dead.