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Ivory Coast Mulls Talks Between Election Rivals Ahead of Vote

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 10/22/2020 Leanne de Bassompierre

(Bloomberg) -- Ivory Coast’s government is considering a request for a meeting between President Alassane Ouattara and his main opponent Henri Konan Bedie after the opposition called for a boycott of Oct. 31 elections.

The addition of a fifth opposition member and a vice president to the electoral commission is also being discussed, according to a statement from Minister of Territorial Administration Sidiki Diakite late Wednesday.

Tensions have run high in the world’s top cocoa producer since Ouattara, who’s been in power since 2011, announced he’s seeking a third term. A ministerial delegation from the Economic Community of West African States on Monday asked the opposition to reconsider the boycott and iron out disagreements before the vote.

In Dabou, 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of the economic capital, Abidjan, a curfew was announced amid election-related violence that claimed 10 lives, the town’s mayor, Jean-Claude Niangne, said by phone Thursday.

(Updates with deathtoll from violence in town of Dabou.)

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