Côte d’Ivoire’s October presidential election will test the nation’s progress in the five years following the outbreak of electoral violence in 2010. Violence that erupted after the last presidential poll left 3,000 Ivorian citizens dead while thousands more fled to neighboring countries. Conflict began when then-President Laurent Gbagbo refused to leave office after a defeat by his political rival, Alassane Ouattara. Gbagbo remains on trial with the International Criminal Court (ICC) for perpetrating crimes against humanity. His party, the Front populaire ivorien (FPI), and the ruling Rassemblement des Republicains (RDR) are participating in an ongoing process of national reconciliation, although challenges remain.
With political violence a continued concern in 2015, civil society efforts to gather and disseminate trustworthy information on the entire election process will be critical in maintaining peace and public confidence. Ivorian GNDEM member La Plateforme de la Société Civile pour l’Observation des Elections en Côte d’Ivoire (POECI) (POECI or the Platform) has taken an innovative, multi-pronged approach to pre-election observation, including the avid incorporation of information and communication technologies (ICTs).
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