Local authorities have announced that municipal elections in Port-Bouët (Abidjan district) would be re-held after voting records were destroyed by unidentified men on Monday, October 15. The men entered the local branch of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) building on Monday evening before the results could be announced. The CEI has said it will announce the date of the new election within a month. Protests to denounce the situation are possible in the coming hours and days.
On a general note, results from the October 13 regional and municipal elections held elsewhere in the country have not yet been fully released as of October 16. However, according to preliminary results the RHDP (Rassemblement des Houphouëtistes pour la Démocratie et la Paix) presidential coalition seems to be in the lead. This has already led the opposition party PDCI (Parti démocratique de Côte d'Ivoire) to claim fraud. Unrest amid discontent by PDCI supporter is possible in Ivorian cities in the coming days.
Violence erupted during municipal and regional elections that were held nationwide on Saturday, October 13, to choose city and regional counselors. In the Plateau district of Abidjan, clashes erupted in front of the CEI building, prompting security forces to disperse the crowd with tear gas. In Abidjan's Marcory district, clashes erupted between youths and security forces. rotests also erupted on the evening of October 14 in the Plateau district to denounce alleged fraud.
Tensions were also high in provincial cities. The CEI building in Diabo (center) was reportedly ransacked by youths denouncing electoral fraud. In Tiébissou (center), youths reportedly erected roadblocks. One person was killed In Lakota (south) and two were killed in Séguela (center) amid clashes between supporters. In Divo and Bonoua (south), violence erupted between rival supporters. The results for these elections, for which voter turnout was reportedly low, should be released on Monday. Further violence is possible following the release. Hundreds of protesters also descended on Grand-Bassam and set fire to huts after officials published election results earlier in the day. Security forces previously deployed to the area on October 14 used teargas to disperse political demonstrators.
Political tensions are currently elevated in the country as the elections follow the recent "divorce" between the PDCI and the Rassemblement des Républicains (RDR) parties, who had both been allied under the ruling RHDP coalition. On August 9, the PDCI decided to put an end to the alliance after the RDR proposed to transform the coalition into a unified political party.
As a precautionary measure, individuals present in Côte d'Ivoire are advised to monitor local media, avoid all protests and demonstrations (as they could turn violent), and refrain from discussing domestic political issues in public.
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