Voters in the Ivory Coast went to the polls on Sunday (9 November) for the first round of elections to an enlarged National Assembly.
GV People queuing outside polling station in Abidjan
CU Young man wearing election T-shirt
SV People queuing outside another polling station in Abidjan with young men wearing election posters on their hats (2 shots)
SV AND CU INTERIOR People receiving election papers from officials (2 shots)
CU Women placing vote into box
GV AND CU People queuing to vote outside another voting station (2 shots)
SV AND CU People placing votes into ballot box (3 shots)
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Background: Voters in the Ivory Coast went to the polls on Sunday (9 November) for the first round of elections to an enlarged National Assembly. The election was the first in which voters had a choice of candidates.
SYNOPSIS: In the past, voters simply said 'Yes' or 'No' to a single candidate. President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, who was re-elected unopposed for another five-year term last month, launched a 'democratisation' process in June. He said the country's political development had lagged behind its economic growth.
During the election campaign, the authorities banned all public gatherings involving traditional music and dance. This was to avoid ethnic rivalries in a country of about 60 ethnic groups. Some candidates used helicopters to drop pamphlets. Gifts were liberally distributed. But there was little political debate before Sunday's (9 November) ballot.
Voter turn-out was generally low, varying between thirty and sixty percent. This was partly caused by administrative problems in distributing ballot papers. The election marked the return to politics of former Finance Minister, Henri Konan Bedie, considered a likely successor to the President. Six ministers stood in the election. There were re-elected, but the other three will stand again in a second round of voting on November the 23rd. Candidates from 70 other constituencies where no-one received as absolute majority, will also stand for office.