Polls are Open Sunday In Ivory Coast Parliamentary Elections

Posted December 11th, 2011 at 2:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Citizens of the Ivory Coast voted Sunday in the country's first parliamentary elections in more than a decade.

Voter turnout was reportedly low and no incidents of violence were reported.

Nearly 1,000 candidates vied for the National Assembly's 255 legislative seats in the vote, which was boycotted by the party of former president Laurent Gbagbo.

President Alassane Ouattara urged Ivorians to go to the polls, saying the parliament has an essential role to play in the future of the country. His Democratic Party is poised for a landslide victory.

In violence leading up to the election, Ivory Coast officials say three people were killed and three others wounded Wednesday when a rocket was fired into a residential courtyard in the Grand Lahou region just before an election rally of supporters of President Ouattara. He was sworn in as president after his forces arrested Mr. Gbagbo in April.

Mr. Gbagbo refused to leave office after losing last November's presidential election, touching off weeks of violence that killed more than 3,000 people and displaced more than one million others.

The former president is now in the Netherlands awaiting charges from the International Criminal Court on crimes against humanity in the post-election fighting.

The United Nations and human rights groups say backers of Mr. Gbagbo and President Ouattara committed criminal acts following the disputed presidential election.