Yes, I was in Abidjan for the elections on October 25. It was very, very quiet. An expat friend who had lived in Abidjan during the last election was a bit nervous about the outcome (unnecessarily, in my opinion) and asked a few of us to spend the weekend at her house for fun and because the city would be mostly shut down. So, because I'm not a journalist and had been told by the least-security-minded people that staying in Abidjan would be best rather than leaving to do work outside the city.
So I have absolutely nothing of my own to report, other than election rallies all over the city and outside that were only for the incumbent, Ouattara (ADO), and that had the huge balloons and tents so that they looked like American car dealerships on the weekends. I am advocating for the noodle men as campaigners in the next election in 2020.
I'm glad it was calm, as it was generally anticipated to be. Most of those who have any knowledge about Ivorian elections (all 15 of us) believe that the true results of Cote d'Ivoire's justice and peacebuilding efforts will be seen in 2020, when Ouattara will not be running.
Here's a roundup of mostly solid articles in English about the elections:
African Arguments, 19 October
Washington Post, 19 October
Washington Post, 20 October
Mail & Guardian, 21 October
BBC, 24 October
Reuters, 28 October
(update) Washington Post, 26 November
Little by little, more is being written about Cote d'Ivoire's recent trials and its economic transformation, all viewed through a lens of the upcoming October elections (exact date TBD). French-language media is generally a better source, but English-language analysis is slowly catching up.
"Court decision deepens Ivory Coast opposition rift" for Reuters, by Joe Bavier
"Côte d’Ivoire’s victor’s Justice? ICC, the Gbagbos and the Mega-Trial" for African Arguments, by Giulia Piccolino
(seriously excellent overview of the set of trials set in political context)
"Investigations against pro-Ouattara camp to begin mid-2015, says ICC chief prosecutor" for The Interview, France 24
(the first time the ICC has explicitly addressed the criticisms of both the Ivorian opposition and human rights observers that the national and international justice mechanisms have been one-sided)
"Deja vu: And if the cocoa price dropped?" by John James on his blog Drogba's Country
(examination of the possible second round of CIV's "economic miracle" that could be based, once again, on high global cocoa prices; what could happen if prices plunge?)
Travel and research notes
Fieldwork and travel in Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Mali, as well as Burkina Faso, Morocco, Tanzania, South Africa, and wherever else I end up. Plus occasional research-related thoughts. And now ... Teaching!