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Tension surrounds Ivory Coast vote

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Tension surrounds Ivory Coast vote


The second round of the first presidential elections for ten years has been held in Ivory Coast. The atmosphere is tense, and there has been sporadic violence. Initial results are expected later on Monday.

Ivory Coast, the world’s largest producer of cocoa, was once considered a haven of peace and prosperity in West Africa. But civil strife in 2002 changed all that.

Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo faces former Prime Minister Alassane Outtara in a tight race that has led to simmering tension and conflict.

The two candidates represent the two sides of the country’s religious, cultural and administrative north-south divide

The election is meant to heal divisions but some say the neck-and-neck battle has served to highlight them instead.

There have been accusations of intimidation from both sides. International observers are monitoring the situation.

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