World Bulletin / News Desk
Voters in the Ivory Coast head for the polls Sunday in the first presidential election since the 2010 vote that led to the deaths of more than 3,000 people.
Incumbent Alassane Ouattara is widely expected to win a second term in a field of seven candidates.
Since the campaign began two weeks ago, three candidates have withdrawn amid allegations of irregularities.
Ouattara, a 73-year-old former International Monetary Fund official, has steered the country through a period of economic growth following a brief civil war in 2011, sparked by former President Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to accept the election result.
Gbagbo, who had ruled from 2000, is currently being held by the International Criminal Court in the Hague charged with crimes against humanity.
Some 6.3 million people are expected to vote from a population of 23 million. There are concerns of low voter turnout due to Ouattara’s apparently dominant position in the race.
Security will be provided by 34,000 troops, including 6,000 UN peacekeepers.
Last month, clashes occurred between opponents and supporters of Ouattara in the western part of the country, leaving two dead.