Ivory Coast: Anti-president sentiments grow

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Protest against the president of Ivory Coast has resulted in the deaths of civilians and the injury of many more. Security forces fired live bullets into crowds of thousands of protesters on Friday.

The Associated Press gathered that three people were killed and more than a dozen injured, after police opened fire on demonstrators.

Unrest began in the country on Thursday, February 17 when the president, Mr Gbagbo dissolved the government and the electoral commission following a row over voter registration.

The opposition says most of the people who were disqualified by the election commission were from ethnic groups in the north of the country, who were unlikely to support Mr Gbagbo in any vote.

The president said he disbanded the election commission, because its director, Mr. Robert Beugre Mambe, a member of an opposition party, had been running an illegal operation.

There are reports of demonstration against the government across several cities in the country.

Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, the leader of the ex-rebels, suspended judicial rulings on voter-enrollment because of the rising tensions. He was expected to form a new government by Saturday, nearly a week after a deadline from the President, for him “to put forward, by Monday, the format of a new, credible electoral commission who can organise”, ended.

Ivory Coast is under increasing international pressure to restart an electoral process that is meant to end a crisis sparked by a civil war in 2002 and 2003.

The opposition accuse the president of stalling on presidential elections, which have been delayed every year since 2005, would not accept any posts until the electoral commission is re-established.

Elections, last scheduled for 29 November 2009, have been postponed six times. And animosity between ethnic groups in western Ivory Coast continues to have a devastating impact on the local economy, nearly a year and a half after a military rebellion threw the country into crisis.

Although there is growing political tension in the Ivory Coast, the country’s cocoa deliveries have not been seriously disrupted.

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