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Côte d’Ivoire: Elections Offer Chance to End Chapter of Instability
In advance of Côte d’Ivoire’s presidential elections on October 25, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“It is essential that Côte d’Ivoire’s presidential elections are free, fair and take place in a peaceful environment,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director for Africa programs. “The elections could allow Ivoirians to move from a volatile chapter in the country’s history toward restoring good governance and accountability.”
Nine candidates will be competing for the presidential seat, including incumbent Alassane Ouattara who assumed the presidency in 2011 after a violent election period that lead to over 3,000 deaths. Ouattara’s most prominent challenger is Pascal Affi N’Guessan of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), although the opposition has struggled to unify against the ruling party.
When the official list of candidates was announced in mid-September, a violent protest broke out in the west, but no other violence has been reported to date. Amnesty International has criticized the government for its arbitrary arrest of opposition members.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.