Elections in Cote d'Ivoire are likely to take place in October 2008 at the latest, the country's electoral commission said Thursday.
The presidential elections will possibly be held after the citizenship identification process ends, followed by the legislative elections 45 days later, Robert Beugre Mambe, president of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), told reporters.
Justice Minister Mamadou Kone announced earlier that the identification process will be launched on Sept. 25, which will be concluded at the end of the year if everything goes smoothly.
The citizenship identification, designed to produce an undisputable voters' list, was one of the important issues in Cote d'Ivoire's peace process, and should be carried out with equity and transparency, Mambe said.
A botched coup attempt by the New Forces (FN) rebels in September 2002 plunged Cote d'Ivoire into a crisis that left the country divided in two, with the north under FN control.
On March 4, 2007, President Laurent Gbagbo and FN secretary general Guillaume Soro concluded the Ouagadougou peace agreement, under which Soro was named prime minister to spearhead the search for lasting peace in the country.
According to this agreement, the two sides commit themselves to disarming combatants, redeploying regional administrators and organizing elections, which have been postponed on several occasions since October 2005 due to political disagreements.