Police teargas protesters demanding I Coast election results

2018-10-15 14:18
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Riot police fired teargas overnight to break up crowds of demonstrators demanding the release of results from a tense weekend election in Ivory Coast, a candidate and witnesses said.

A number of people were injured during the incident which occurred overnight in Grand-Bassam, a beach resort town near Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan and followed a day of tension over Saturday's elections that were marred by clashes which left one man dead.

"People had gathered outside the police headquarters to demand that the results be declared," Georges Ezaley told AFP, a candidate with the Ivory Coast Democratic Party (PDCI).

"At around 01:00, the police broke up the crowd by firing tear gas, many people were wounded, mainly older people," he said, his words confirmed by a local resident.

"The people were surrounding the police headquarters to wait for the results, they were teargassed," the resident said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"The results were validated on Sunday morning by the Independent Electoral Commission and signed off by the representatives of all the candidates but by Sunday evening, they still hadn't announced them," Ezaley said.

"There is something amiss here."

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By Monday morning, the results had still not been published.

Saturday's elections were overshadowed by tensions within the ruling RHDP coalition, which is divided over who should be its candidate in the upcoming presidential election in 2020.

The two-party coalition, which comprises the RDR of President Alassane Ouattara and the historically dominant PDCI, has ruled Ivory Coast since 2010.

But in the run-up to the Saturday's elections, their alliance broke down, with each fielding rival candidates in many areas.

During the vote, a man in his 30s was killed during clashes between rival political groups in Lakota, a town in the south, where supporters of the independent mayor clashed with those of his RHDP challenger.

Scuffles and clashes also occurred elsewhere in the area where campaigning took place in a very tense atmosphere.

Read more on:    ivory coast  |  west africa

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