The head of the United Nations mission in Ivory Coast validated the country’s first-round election results, saying any irregularities could not have affected the outcome.
UN mission chief Y.J. Choi was required to sign off on the results according to accords reached to end the political crisis which was sparked by a 2002-3 civil war that split the world’s top cocoa grower in two.
“After a thorough analysis and evaluation of the final results of the first round … I have arrived at the conclusion that the process leading to the proclamation of the final results … was determined through a fair and transparent process,” Choi told a news conference, reports Reuters.
Choi added that any errors or irregularities were “of such a minor nature as to affect in no significant way the overall results of the election”.
The results of the October 31 first round put incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo on 38 percent and challenger Alsassane Ouattara on 32 percent, meaning the pair will now face each other in a run-off slated for November 28.
Henri Konan Bedie, who came third with 25 percent of the vote, challenged the results of the vote before they were even announced. But the country’s constitutional court rejected the challenge and Bedie has since thrown his weight behind Ouattara.
Voter turnout was around 80 percent, one of the highest seen in a genuinely multi-party African election.
The election is aimed at ushering in Ivory Coast’s first stable government in a decade, ending years of political deadlock and attracting investment to repair the once prosperous West African nation’s economy.