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Nineteen register as presidential candidates

Nineteen candidates including ousted president Henri Konan Bedie and his successor, General Robert Guei, have registered for the 17 September presidential election in Cote d'Ivoire, the official daily 'Fraternite Matin' reported on Friday.

Guei registered as an independent. Bedie, whose application was submitted on his behalf to the national electoral commission (CEN), has been living in France since being overthrown on 24 December 1999. He is one of five hopefuls from among whom the former ruling Parti Democratique de Cote d'Ivoire (PDCI) is to choose its candidate at a weekend convention.

The candidates also include Alassane Ouattara (Rassemblement des Republicains), Laurent Gbagbo (Front Populaire Ivoirien) and Francis Wodie (Parti Ivoirien du Travail) and a woman, Assana Sangare.

The Supreme Court is to decide on the candidates' eligibility by 2 September.

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