Ivory Coast: Ouattara takes early lead as 30 die in election violence

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara has taken a commanding early lead in his bid for a third term, winning all 20 of the voting districts that were announced by the electoral commission on Sunday.

Ouattara, 78, won 99% of the vote in eight of the districts announced from Saturday’s vote, most of which are ruling party strongholds. There are 108 districts in total, more of which are expected to be announced on Sunday evening.

The president is expected to win re-election after opponents called for a boycott of the vote in protest of what they say is his illegal bid to hold onto power.

They say the constitution limits presidents to two terms; Ouattara says the approval of a new constitution in 2016 allowed him to restart his mandate.

The disagreement has led to violence in the lead up to the vote, in which at least 30 people have died. At least five more were killed on Saturday, officials said.

However, the country was spared the widespread clashes that many feared would erupt during voting.

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