US encourages participation in Ivory Coast poll

AP News
Posted: Oct 21, 2011 1:57 PM
US encourages participation in Ivory Coast poll

A U.S. official is encouraging Ivory Coast's opposition to participate in upcoming parliamentary elections after the party of the former strongman threatened to boycott the poll.

U.S. deputy assistant secretary Daniel Baer says he hopes the party of former strongman Laurent Gbagbo will participate in the poll scheduled for Dec. 11. He spoke Friday after meeting with opposition party members in the West African nation.

He says the U.S. will give $3 million to encourage the poll is held democratically and to support poll monitors.

Ivory Coast held the first presidential election in a decade last year. Legislative elections were to follow, but they were put on hold when Gbagbo refused to accept his loss, plunging the country into months of violence.