Re-run of Local Elections in Ivory Coast Following Nullification of Results

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Due to irregularities, elections in nine municipalities and one region were annulled by the State Council. The day after the rescheduled voting, the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) swiftly proclaimed the results, except Ferkessédougou, where the atmosphere during the ballot was tense.

In San Pedro, the country’s second economic hub, dissident RHDP candidate Nakaridja Cissé secured victory with 50% of the votes, surpassing the incumbent mayor from the ruling party, Félix Miézan Anoblé, and notably outpacing the candidate from the PDCI-PPA-CI coalition, Sylvanus Kla Koué. This decisive win follows a closely contested September election, ultimately annulled. Remarkably, it marks the second occasion where a woman will lead San Pedro, the world’s leading cocoa export port.

In these repeat elections, all previous winners emerged victorious, except in Koumbala, where the RHDP candidate claimed success. The ruling party also secured the small town of Kouibly and the Guémon region. RHDP now governs 26 out of 31 regions. Antoine Assale Tiemoko, an independent candidate, assumes the mayoral position in Tiassalé, while PDCI candidate Joachim Laguikouassi becomes the chief magistrate of Oumé.

Although the rerun elections proceeded smoothly overall, Ferkessédougou experienced turmoil. Individuals stormed the local CEI office, destroying electoral materials, and preventing the results’ proclamation.

A close associate of candidate Ouattara Kawéli, a member of Guillaume Soro’s GPS party, attributes these criminal acts to RHDP youth militants. Hamed Kassambara, condemning the situation, asserts that Ferkéssédougou resembled a besieged city, accusing the RHDP of deploying intimidatory tactics. Despite these challenges, Kassambara insists his candidate emerged victorious.

The CEI supervisor’s report for Ferkessédougou is anticipated to determine whether a third election will be necessary for this locality. The incident underscores the need for vigilance in preserving the integrity of electoral processes and the pursuit of democratic ideals.

Soukaina Sghir

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