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Ivory Coast’s Soro Urges Candidates to Respect Vote

(Corrects fifth graph to say army, not Soro, says 8,000 troops will be deployed.)

Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Ivory Coast Prime Minister Guillaume Soro urged candidates in tomorrow’s presidential election to respect the results and said the tally would be “unquestioned” and voters safe as troops secure polling stations.

“All the candidates have to commit themselves to accept the results proclaimed by the electoral commission,” the former rebel leader told reporters in Abidjan, the nation’s commercial capital. “The loser must salute the winner, and the winner must have humility in his victory.”

Ivory Coast is holding its first presidential election in a decade this weekend after five years of delays. The world’s biggest cocoa producer has been divided into a rebel-held northern area and the government-controlled south since a civil war in 2002. Soro became prime minster after the rebels signed a peace deal in 2007.

Votes will be counted both manually and electronically, Soro said. “This will reinforce the credibility of the results, which will be unquestionable, and unquestioned,” he said.

Both national army troops and ex-rebels, will be deployed to every polling station, he said. The army has said 8,000 troops will be deployed.

The United Nations said two days ago that it increased the number of its patrols in the country, especially in Abidjan and in the north and west of the country. The UN has 8,000 soldiers and 1,500 policemen in Ivory Coast.

Text messaging will not be blocked during on election day, contrary to what some Ivorian newspapers announced yesterday, Soro said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Olivier Monnier in Abidjan at omonnier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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