In Ivory Coast, the independent electoral commission has been unable to declare the results of the regional elections in the Guémon region in the western part of the country. Violence and irregularities disrupted the vote count in one department, necessitating a re-run of the election in the coming months.
The Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) has access to the results from three of the four departments in the Guémon region. The issue arises in the department of Kouibly, where a CEI statement reports, that “violence, extensive equipment destruction, and the ransacking of the local commission’s headquarters” occurred. Electoral officials had to be evacuated with the assistance of security forces. According to the CEI, these acts of violence affected 21 out of 34 polling stations in the municipal constituency, preventing the tallying of votes.
The absence of these results prevents the determination of a regional score. Consequently, the CEI has petitioned the Council of State to annul the electoral and municipal operations in this department.
Candidates competing in the elections have been highly critical of the situation, describing a hostile atmosphere. One local official stated, “People were intimidated, they were given money and motorcycles.” Some scrutineers were allegedly corrupted to falsify the minutes. A candidate added, “Ballot boxes were not sealed and were filled with pre-fabricated minutes; the announced scores do not align with reality.”
This development underscores the challenges and tensions surrounding the electoral process in Ivory Coast, particularly in regions where violence and irregularities have disrupted the democratic proceedings.