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Ivory Coast rivals face off in election

From Eric Agnero, for CNN
Ivory Coast's former PM and presidential candidate Alassane Ouattara casts his vote on Sunday in Abidjan.
Ivory Coast's former PM and presidential candidate Alassane Ouattara casts his vote on Sunday in Abidjan.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The elections are seen as a chance to get the country out of crisis and violence
  • U.N. Security Council: Ivory Coast situation poses "threat to international peace"
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Abidjan, Ivory Coast (CNN) -- Polls opened Sunday in Ivory Coast's runoff presidential election.

The election pits President Laurent Gbagbo against former Premier Alassane Ouattara. Gbagbo finished ahead of Ouattara in the initial election last month, with 38 percent of the vote, compared to the challenger's 32 percent.

An independent electoral commission, religious leaders, the United Nations and the European Union have urged both camps to engage in a nonviolent contest to preserve what is seen as a unique chance to get the large cocoa-producing country out of a decade of crisis and violence.

Ahead of the runoff, the U.N. Security Council authorized a temporary redeployment of troops and helicopters from its mission in neighboring Liberia in order to beef up security.

The Security Council said the situation in Ivory Coast "continues to pose a threat to international peace and security in the region."