Côte d’Ivoire president’s supporters and opponents clash ahead of election

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President Alassane Ouattara © Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty
President Alassane Ouattara © Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty

Local offices of Côte d’Ivoire’s ruling party were ransacked and the house of an opponent of President Alassane Ouattara was set on fire, as rival supporters clashed in an eastern city ahead of the presidential election, residents said on Saturday.

According to a report by Reuters, the clashes in Bongouanou came after the opposition candidate, former premier Pascal Affi N’Guessan, and Ouattara’s other main challenger, former president Henri Konan Bedie, had on Thursday called on their supporters to boycott the Oct. 31 vote and prevent it from going ahead.

Ferdinand Kouamé, a teacher in Bongouanou, told Reuters that when Affi called for the disruption of the campaign and the election, some young people went to the office of the RHDP (the ruling party) and broke everything there.

Jean Bonin, an adviser to Affi, said he was waiting for the results of a police investigation into the fire.

A police spokesman said several people had been injured in the clashes but there were no deaths.

 

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