UN mission in Cote d'lvoire hopes controversy not to derail election

10:21, January 17, 2010      

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The UN peacekeeping mission in Cote d'Ivoire ((ONUCI) appeals to the parties concerned not to allow their controversy over the voter list to derail the West African country's first presidential elections to be held soon since 2005.

ONUCI spokesman Hamadoun Toure on Friday said in the western region of Hire that the UN secretary general's special representative in the country, Choi Young-jin, would like to see that the controversy between dissenting parties and the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) does not derail the progress that has been made in the electoral process.

Toure described the controversy as a minor incident at the weekly press briefing in response to a demand for decisions based on consensus under the guidance of Prime Minister Guillaume Soro.

"ONUCI is closely following with a lot of interest the finalization of the administrative phase of solving contentions on the registration to the electoral list. It will equally follow the judicial phase of contentions," he said.

Toure also told the briefing that the UN secretary general's special representative will be in New York on Jan. 23 to present a report on ONUCI operations in Cote d'lvoire.

The new electoral timetable which was arrived at in December 2009 in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, sets the election date between late February and early March.

However, doubts are being raised about the time frame due to the "storm" that is rocking the electoral commission. Its president Robert Mambe Beugre is accused by the presidential camp of having attempted to fraudulently put 429,000 people on the electoral list.

Mambe on Friday officially denied the charges at a press conference. But he is still being "cornered" by the authorities, especially the Interior Ministry, which has already asked the Abidjan public prosecutor to carry out an investigation into the case.

Cote d'Ivoire plunged into a civil war after an attempted coup in 2002. The country remains divided after the war ended in 2003. The upcoming vote is widely expected to end the crisis after repeatedly postponed since it failed to take place in 2005.

Source: Xinhua
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