Côte d'Ivoire's 2015 Presidential Election : A Sign of Democratic Progress?
Côte d’Ivoire’s 2015 presidential election, was the first since multiparty elections were introduced in 1990 in which all major parties were able to compete without triggering a civil war. This paper examines the extent of democratic progress registered by this milestone election. It focuses on three democratic qualities of elections: competition, participation, and legitimacy. Whereas competitiveness and participation measures both fell relative to the 2010 election, the 2015 election was contested by all major parties and its results were accepted peacefully, registering a dramatic step forward in the legitimacy of the electoral process and outcome. This conclusion is supported with a historical analysis; and by comparing the final 2015 results with parallel vote tabulation for the 2015 election, Afro barometer survey data from 2014, and a sub national analysis of voter turnout in 2015 relative to 2010.