FACTBOX-Key political risks to watch in Ivory Coast

Wed Dec 1, 2010 12:09pm GMT

By Tim Cocks and David Lewis

ABIDJAN Dec 1 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast's long delayed presidential election did not produce a clear winner in the first round, forcing President Laurent Gbagbo and opposition challenger Alassane Ouattara into a Nov. 28 run-off.

Now the country nervously awaits results of a poll meant to draw a line under the political crisis that has persisted since the 2002-2003 civil war, but which has also awakened old tensions and led to outbreaks of violence.


Gbagbo came out ahead in the first round with 38 percent of the vote compared to 32 percent for Ouattara. Both have vied for the 25 percent won by third-placed Henri Konan Bedie: he has endorsed Ouattara but it is not clear how many of his voters will follow his instruction.

The United Nations said the second-round was democratic despite some irregularities and outbreaks of violence. Yet the election commission has so far failed to provide meaningful partial results from the vote, with opposition accusing Gbagbo of blocking their publication because he knows he has lost.

Gbagbo's party has said it will challenge the results in the rebel-held north, where Ouattara did well in the first round, because of alleged intimidation by New Forces rebel soldiers.

Security forces deployed heavily on Nov. 30 around the election commission's office in Abidjan. Journalists who had been waiting for results inside the building were told to leave.   Continued...

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