Sweeping Win For Ruling Party In Côte d’Ivoire Local Polls

The president of the electoral commission called on candidates to respect the results and "not to indulge in violence".


An agent of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) counts ballot papers for the municipal and regional elections in the commune of Plateaux business district of Abidjan, on September 2, 2023. (Photo by Sia KAMBOU / AFP)

 

 

 

Côte d’Ivoire’s ruling party has secured a landslide win in local and regional elections, according to nearly complete results announced by the electoral commission Monday.

Voting on Saturday was seen as an indication of support for the leading political groups two years ahead of presidential elections in the West African nation, a regional economic power and leading cocoa exporter.

The president of the Independent Electoral Commission, Ibrahim Kuibiert, said on national television that the results had now been compiled for 30 out of 31 regions, and 199 municipalities out of a total of 201.

The ruling RHDP won in 123 municipalities and 25 regions.

The two main opposition parties — the Democratic Party (PDCI) and the African People’s Party – Côte d’Ivoire (PPA-CI) — had teamed up in many areas to take on the RHDP.

The almost complete results show they had taken 34 municipalities and four regions, with the rest going to independent candidates.

The elections were the first since former president Laurent Gbagbo returned to Côte d’Ivoire in June 2021 after being acquitted by the International Criminal Court on human rights charges linked to post-electoral violence in 2011.

Gbagbo was not able to vote after being struck from the electoral roll due to a conviction in Côte d’Ivoire linked to the 2011 crisis.

Monitoring group Aube Nouvelle (New Dawn) said it had registered some isolated altercations but overall the poll had gone smoothly — in stark contrast to three years ago, when contested presidential elections won by Alassane Ouattara saw violence spark that led to 85 deaths.

Some candidates did complain, however, of irregularities — including in Abidjan’s largest and bellwether district of Yopougon.

The president of the electoral commission called on candidates to respect the results and “not to indulge in violence”.

He said that some altercations and delays were observed in certain polling stations while some ballot boxes were ransacked in the northern town of Sarhala, preventing the final declaration of the results.

The partial results showed many senior ruling party figures won their seats, including National Assembly Speaker Adama Bictogo, who took 44 percent of the vote in Yopougon.

Prime Minister Patrick Achi and Defence Minister Tene Birahima Ouattara both also won comfortably in their regions.

Côte d’Ivoire will hold a presidential election in 2025.

Incumbent Ouattara has not said whether he will stand for a fourth term in office.

 

 

Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara casts his ballot during the municipal and regional elections, in the Cocody residential commune in Abidjan on September 2, 2023. (Photo by Sia KAMBOU / AFP)

 

Agents of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) count ballot papers for the municipal and regional elections in the Plateau business commune of Plateaux business district of Abidjan, on September 2, 2023. (Photo by Sia KAMBOU / AFP)

 

 

Voters look at the electoral list during the regional and municipal elections at a polling station in the Plateau business commune of Abidjan on September 2, 2023. (Photo by Sia KAMBOU / AFP)

 

Two agents of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) count ballot papers for the municipal and regional elections in the Plateau business commune of Plateaux business district of Abidjan, on September 2, 2023. (Photo by Sia KAMBOU / AFP)