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Ivory Coast: Ruling party hails vote success, opposition says 12 dead

Ivorians now wait for the next leader to be named.   -  
Copyright © africanews
Diomande Ble Blonde/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press.

Ivory Coast

Voters cast their ballots in Ivory Coast's heated presidential election on Saturday and now they wait eagerly to see who will be the next leader of one Africa's fastest-growing economies.

The vote is seen as a test of stability as two opposition candidates called for a boycott and civil disobedience, calling the vote a "failure" of power.

President Alassane Ouattara is running for a contested third term, which the opposition says is "unconstitutional".

The president's move sparked deadly pre-election clashes, killing around 30 people, reinvoking the memories of the 2010 presidential vote, which unleashed a brief civil war that saw over 3,000 deaths.

Despite the call for a boycott, Ouattara's ruling Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace party said the vote was a success.

"October 31 was not the day of the flood as predicted by all the opposition leaders, but better, Ivorians have appropriated this election by going to vote massively this morning," said Adama Bictogo, executive director of ruling RHDP.

Reports of violence

Saturday's vote was largely calm and there have been no official reports of deadly clashes.

But opposition leader and presidential hopeful Pascal Affi N'Guessan said 12 were killed.

" We deplore, yet another time, deaths where there have been clashes, a dozen deaths for the moment, including four in Goh and two in the sub-prefecture of Niablé," N'Guessan said.

Police dispersed protests that broke out in Abidjan and other towns and fired tear gas, according to an AFP reporter.

The ruling party said there were "attacks" by "violent elements organized by the opposition"

Ouattara has urged peace and for the opposition to end its call for civil disobedience.

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