An opposition challenge to a six-month government ban on demonstrations failed on Wednesday as fewer people than expected took to the streets and were met by well armed police, news reports said.
The pro-government daily, `Fraternite Matin' reported the situation as calm for most of the country. It said the 16 administrative regions of the country had "a normal day" while some 213 people questioned by police during patrols on Tuesday and Wednesday in the capital had all been released.
Meanwhile, other news reports said that police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators in Abidjan and in other parts of the country despite the presidential ban on protests, decreed on Wednesday in Fraternite Martin. A group of opposition parties called for street protests on Wednesday in an attempt to gain the freedom of leaders of the opposition Rassemblement
des Republicains (RDR). They were imprisoned for their part in earlier street protests over the government's bid to stop the RDR leader, Alassane Ouattara, from running for president on a nationality dispute.
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