Sunday, October 24, 2010

Battle of the Billboards in Abidjan

The election will be won or lost in Abidjan. About 30% of the registered voters live here. And a large proportion of those voters are young. Their regional affiliations are weaker than those of their parents.

Each candidate has a symbol for voters who are not literate and you can see them on the billboards. Fingers raised in a V of Victory for Gbagbo, a thatched roof, mud-brick house for Ado, and the map of Ivory Coast for Bedié.

Hard to say what's going on with the farmer on the billboard above with Bedié. He wears American jean overalls and the hat of a Fulani cattle herder. I've certainly never seen a farmer dressed like this one in Ivory Coast. When I asked an Ivorian friend, he replied, "Maybe he's the farmer of the future." Maybe...

On the roads of Abidjan, the clear winner of the Battle of the Billboards is incumbent Laurent Gbagbo. He covers the soccer stadium.

Coming in fourth in the Battle of the Billboards is Francis Wodié of the Workers' Party, a retired law professor.

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