UN envoy to Cote d'Ivoire calls for solution concerning electoral list

10:37, January 22, 2010      

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The top UN envoy to Cote d' Ivoire said here on Thursday that for the presidential election to take place this spring in the West African nation, the controversy surrounding the voter list needs to be solved.

This statement came as the special representative of the UN secretary-general to Cote d'Ivoire, Choi Young-Jin, briefed the Security Council on the situation in the African nation.

"If solutions are found to the issue of the second electoral list and the reunification issue, we shall finally have the long- awaited presidential election in spring 2010," Choi said.

The Ivorian elections were originally slated for 2005 but have been postponed repeatedly. The last presidential election was set for Nov. 29, 2009.

Since his last briefing to the Council, the Ivorian electoral process has made a "remarkable progress in a peaceful environment, " namely because of the data processing of voter registration that took place last November of around 6.3 million people, Choi said.

As a result, there was a publication of the provisional electoral list that was put out by the Independent Electoral Commission on Nov. 23, 2009.

About 5.3 million people were then confirmed on the provisional electoral list and around 1 million people remained to be confirmed, Choi said.

"This provisional list was well balanced, credible and consensually agreed by the major political protagonists," he said.

A "contentious problem" regarding the appeals process happened when the Commission cross-checked 1 million non-traced people which subsequently led to a second list of 429,000 traced people. Ever since then, the second list has been surrounded by dispute.

"It may take several weeks before the electoral process gains speeds again," Choi said.

He reiterated that the UN Operation in Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI) will work in "minimizing the delay and establishing the definitive electoral list as soon as possible."

Choi outlined a timetable that would lead to the spring 2010 presidential election where he noted that once the definitive electoral list is set as planned next month then only six additional weeks are needed.

"Beyond the current dispute on the electoral list, there is one possible obstacle to this electoral timetable, which is the issue of the reunification of the country," Choi said.

"If solutions are found to the issue of the second electoral list and reunification issue, we shall finally have the long- awaited presidential election in spring 2010," Choi said.

The UN secretary-general's most recent report on Cote d'Ivoire called on all parties to stay on track so that the election could take place in a timely manner. The report also urged all parties to move ahead toward reunification.

Cote d'Ivoire fell into a civil war after an attempted coup in 2002. The country remains divided after the war ended in 2003.

Source: Xinhua
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