1 Nov 2010

Presidential election in Ivory Coast

6:20 am on 1 November 2010

Voters are finally going to the polls in Ivory Coast in presidential elections which have been delayed six times.

Incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo is being challenged by 13 candidates, including a former president and a former prime minister.

The BBC reports it is likely to be an extremely close race, which will almost certainly go to a second round.

The election is seen as a key step in helping the nation heal deep ethnic rifts, which led to civil war in 2002. There has been an uneasy peace since a deal was signed in 2007.

Almost six million people are eligible to vote. Polling stations opened at 0700 GMT on Sunday and voting will end at 1700 GMT.