Ivory Coast man killed as clashes mar local elections

Published on 13.10.2018 at 20h54 by AFP

A man was stabbed to death in clashes between rival political groups in southern Ivory Coast during tense regional and municipal elections held Saturday, hospital sources said.

More than six million Ivoirians were eligible to elect 201 mayors and 31 heads of regional councils in the polls, which come ahead of a presidential election in 2020.

Tensions have overshadowed the polls as the ruling RHDP coalition has imploded due to divisions over who should be its candidate in the 2020 vote.

The two parties making up the ruling coalition — the RDR of President Alassane Ouattara and the historically dominant PDCI — fielded rival candidates in many areas on Saturday.

Oumar Djiguiba, a man in his thirties, was killed during fighting between supporters of Samy Merhy, the independent mayor of Lakota town, and those of his challenger from the ruling RHDP coalition.

Scuffles and clashes took place in several localities in the area, where campaigning was carried out in a very tense atmosphere.

Elsewhere the Alerte-Info agency reported two people injured in Divo, 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Lakota, during similar clashes.

In other incidents voting urns were smashed up torched in Bonoua, east of the commercial capital Abidjan.

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