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ivory coast civil war

Ivory Coast is holding the first presidential election since the civil war ended in 2011.

The bitterly contested presidential election has been marred by prominent opposition candidates pulling out, citing widespread irregularities.

Ivory Coast’s incumbent President Alassane Ouattara is running for a second term in the world’s largest cocoa producer.

Some 3,000 people were killed in the conflict which ended with Alassane Ouattara coming to power in 2011.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

The conflict broke out after former President Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept Alassane Ouattara’s victory in the 2010 election.

Laurent Gbagbo was subsequently arrested and is due to stand trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC), where he denies war crimes charges.

Three of the 10 opposition candidates, including former PM Charles Konan Banny, have withdrawn from the election.

They allege that the process has been rigged to guarantee victory for Alassane Ouattara, a former International Monetary Fund (IMF) economist.

Alassane Ouattara denies the charge, and has called on people to turn out in massive numbers.

Memories of the conflict are still fresh in people’s minds, especially in strongholds of Laurent Gbagbo, correspondents say.