Ivory Coast poll winner named, army seals borders

Thu Dec 2, 2010 11:10pm GMT

By David Lewis and Tim Cocks

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - The head of Ivory Coast's election commission on Thursday declared challenger Alassane Ouattara provisional winner of a presidential run-off, but the top legal body rejected it and the army sealed all borders.

The Constitutional Council, the body that must ratify the result, said the commission's announcement was illegal.

Later, Ivory Coast's military sealed air, land and sea borders, without giving any reasons for the move.

The media regulator said it had suspended the signal for French broadcaster Canal Plus Horizon. Satellite channel France24 and Radio France International FM were also off air.

After repeated delays due to wrangling within his organisation over the results, election commission chairman Youssouf Bakayoko announced that Ouattara had won the November 28 vote with 54.1 percent of the vote.

"The electoral commission has, in accordance with the law, handed over to the Constitutional Council the results it has received and validated, accompanied by the result sheets," Bakayoko said at a hastily-organised news conference.

President Laurent Gbagbo's party, which is seeking the cancellation of results from four northern regions that are Ouattara strongholds, rejected the result.

Soon after the election commission statement, Paul Yao N'dre, a staunch ally of Gbagbo's who heads the Constitutional Council, which must confirm the results, said the poll body had missed a Wednesday deadline to issue provisional results.   Continued...

<p>People walk as security forces travelling in a truck patrol a street in Gagnoa in western Ivory Coast December 2, 2010. REUTERS/Luc Gnago</p>
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