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Ouattara alliance takes Ivory Coast seats

Dec. 16, 2011 at 2:07 PM
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YAMOUSSOUKRO, Ivory Coast, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara's RDR party and its allies won 80 percent of the seats in the country's parliamentary elections, officials said.

The RDR, or Rally of Republicans, won about half of the 255 seats and the Ivory Coast Democratic Party, which is allied with the RDR, took 77 seats, the BBC reported.

Officials said the voter turnout was 36 percent for the Sunday election.

It was the first parliamentary election since former President Laurent Gbagbo was arrested. Officials said Gbagbo boycotted the election in protest over being sent to The Hague, where he awaits trial for crimes against humanity charges.

The United Nations said the election was "generally calm and positive" and should help contribute to national reconciliation after violence that stemmed from the November 2010 presidential election, Voice of America reported.

During that election, Gbagbo refused to turn authority over to Ouattara after losing, and that sparked five months of violence that killed about 3,000 people.

Ouattara eventually assumed power after Gbagbo was forcibly removed from office.

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