Cote d'Ivoire Constitutional Council rejects election results

17:15, December 03, 2010      

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Cote d'Ivoire's Constitutional Council has declared "invalid" the provisional results of the Nov. 28 presidential run-off, which showed Alassane Ouattara turned out the winner.

The rejection came after Youssouf Bakayoko, the president of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), on Thursday said former prime minister Ouattara won the election with 54.1 percent of the tally, against 45.9 percent for outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo.

"Laurent Gbagbo obtained 2,107,055 votes which translates to 45. 9 percent of the votes cast, and Alassane Ouattara got 2,483,164 which translates to 54.1 percent of the votes cast," the CEI president announced to reporters gathering for the delayed publication.

In an anti-climax, however, Constitutional Council President Paul Yao N'dre on state television declared the results as "invalid."

"CEI was supposed to declare the results by latest on Wednesday midnight, but due to disagreements over results from some regions, it was not able to do so and therefore the Constitutional Council will take up the issue and make a ruling," he said.

Bakayoko told reporters that his institution already handed over to the Constitutional Council "all the results that it had received and validated, as well as all the supporting documents."

Meanwhile, the spokesman for Gbagbo's LMP party, Affi N'Guessan, also said, "The results announced by CEI outside of the stipulated time do not have any legal basis."

Gbagbo's camp had filed a case calling for the cancellation of results due to "massive vote rigging" from four regions in the northern and central parts, which are under the control of ex- rebel New Forces in support of Ouattara.

Ouattara, on his part, welcomed the announcement of the results, saying he was ready to form a "government of national unity."

The Constitutional Council has seven days to announce the final results.

In another development, the military announced on Thursday that the country's land, air and sea borders had been sealed.

The measure adds to the curfew imposed on Saturday till Sunday.

More than 10 people have been killed in violence since the Nov. 20-26 presidential campaigns. The latest bloodshed was reported on Wednesday night, when at least seven people were slain in an attack on an office of Ouattara in Abidjan.

An officer from the national police said Ouattara's supporters were shot by the gendarmerie who were alleged to be responding to gun shots emanating from the office.

After CEI made public the provisional results, UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon urged "the Constitutional Council to expeditiously initiate the process of proclamation of the final results, respecting the will of the people of Cote d'Ivoire, so that his special representative can certify those results, in keeping with his mandate."

The 9,800-strong United Nations Operation in Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI) will undertake all possible actions, within its mandate, to keep the electoral process and to maintain peace and security in the country, the UN chief said.

The international community including the United Nations and the European Union has appealed for the publication of the provisional results without further delay, fearing the election process could be derailed in the escalation of post-election violence.

The country is expected to end the political crisis which has been dragging on since an attempted coup in September 2002 and an ensuing civil war. The prudential election, which was due in 2005, had been postponed six times until the holding of the first round on Oct. 31.

Source: Xinhua


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