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Will voters accept Ivory Coast election results?

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Thierry Gouegnon/Reuters

(Read caption) A man cleans the ink off his finger after casting his vote in Abidjan, Sunday. Voters in Ivory Coast turned out in lower numbers for presidential run-off aimed at ending a decade of political and economic crisis. If the election results are disputed, residents are concerned it could lead to violence.

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Residents of the Ivory Coast are braced for more violence after the West Africa nation voted Sunday in a run-off presidential election that many hope will bring an end to a decade of instability within the world's top cocoa producer.

The nation has been divided between the north and the south following the 2002-2003 civil war. And there are hopes that the election can help sow the country back together. But, despite efforts to keep the calm, the election has seen several violent protests, one of which left 3 people dead in the capital city of Abidjan on Saturday.

If the election results are disputed, many residents are concerned it could lead to bloodshed and unrest.

RELATED: Tense Ivory Coast vote reveals a nation divided

“The stakes are very high. The first round was very good. [But] we have seen some radicalization,” said Gilles Yabi, an independent political analyst, in an interview with Al Jazeera. “I’m afraid we can expect some degree of violence.”

Back on course?

The run-off is between incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo and former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara. So far, there has been relative calm. After ten years of political instability, Ivorians see this as a chance to put their nation, which was once the most prosperous in Africa, back on course.

“It’s the life of Ivory Coast that is at stake today,” one electoral official told voters outside a polling station in an article by the Agence France-Presse.


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