Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Armchair Still Empty

There are lots of armchairs in the market in Korhogo but there is only one armchair that counts right now.

The Presidential Armchair.

Will someone sit down after the first round? Or will we go to the second round at the end of November?

The wait is driving everyone crazy and rumors are flying. Ado first round! Ado and BediƩ second round! Ado and Gbagbo second round! Text messages and phone calls are zipping around the country as friends and relatives pass on their local results.

Some provisional results were read out last night by the spokesperson from the Independent Electoral Commission, but many departments and some heavily populated neighborhoods of Abidjan were not among them. Since eighty percent of people here support the RDR candidate, Alassane Ouattara, they are worried.

"We only have one thing on our minds!" said Natalie Coulibaly, who sells fruit in the market, "Since the day before yesterday. The results!"

The longer the wait, the more the suspicions mount. Here is what people say:

"If the party in power had won, we would have known by now. They are trying to block the announcement."

"The Independent Electoral Commission? Independent!?! They are dependent on the head of the government!"

"They will announce it at midnight when everyone is sleeping so there is less violence."

"We are counting on these elections to bring peace and for things to be normal again. Ten years of war is enough. If we have a new president, things will normalize."

"NO SECOND ROUND! It will give the troublemakers too much time to organize."

Felix Awantang, an observer from the American Embassy: "The people have spoken. Now it's time for us to listen."

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