UPDATE 4-Opposition cries foul at I.Coast poll result delay

Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:40pm GMT

* Pro-Gbagbo officials tear up results sheet

* President's party contests results in north

* Gunfire rings out in main city Abidjan

(Adds U.S. statement)

By David Lewis and Loucoumane Coulibaly

ABIDJAN, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast's opposition accused President Laurent Gbagbo on Tuesday of blocking the release of results from a tense vote because he knew he had lost, and Gbagbo supporters disrupted a reading at the poll commission.

The first batch of results from a run-off were due on Tuesday, but they were delayed in the morning and a news conference held in the evening to start announcing them was scuppered when pro-Gbagbo members of the election commission tore up results as the spokesman tried to read them out.

The election body has until Wednesday to announce a winner.

Gbagbo's party said it would formally challenge the run-off results in the rebel held north, where his rival Alassane Ouattara did well in the first round, because of intimidation by rebel New Forces soldiers of Gbagbo's supporters.   Continued...

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