UN chief deeply concerned over political standoff in Cote d'Ivoire

13:42, December 05, 2010      

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UN Secretary-general Ban Ki- moon on Saturday voiced his deep concern over the ongoing political standoff in Cote d'Ivoire following the presidential runoff, and called on the people of the West African country "to remain calm and patient."

"The secretary-general expresses deep concern over the continuing standoff in Cote d'Ivoire in spite of the transparent and credible outcome of the presidential run-off elections announced by the Independent Electoral Commission on Dec. 2, 2010 and certified by the secretary-general's special representative on Dec. 3," said a statement issued here by Ban's spokesman.

"The secretary-general stresses that the outcome of the presidential election as certified by his special representative has been recognized by the broad international community, demonstrating the firm resolve and commitment of the international community towards Cote d'Ivoire," the statement said.

"The secretary-general reiterates his call for the Ivorian people to remain calm and patient and emphasizes that the United Nations, including the United Nations Operation in Cote d'Ivoire ( UNOCI), will do everything within its mandate to preserve peace and security in the country," the statement added.

On Friday, the secretary-general expressed his support for the certification of election results by his special representative in Cote d'Ivoire, Y. J. Choi, and congratulated the winning candidate, Alassane Ouattara, while urging him to work toward lasting peace.

The certification followed the declaration of the results by Cote d'Ivoire's Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), which announced Ouattara, a former prime minister in the country, as the winner of the elections in which he ran against incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo.

Following the release of the results, the head of Cote d'Ivoire 's Constitutional Council declared the IEC announcement "null and void," and proceeded to proclaim Gbagbo as the winner, after canceling voting returns from four northern regions.

In his certification of the election results on Saturday, Choi declared: "Even if all the complaints made by the presidential camp to the Constitutional Council were taken into account in terms of numbers of tally sheets, and consequently the votes, the outcome of the second round of the presidential elections as proclaimed by the IEC President on Dec. 2 would not change, with candidate Ouattara being the winner of the presidential election."

Cote d'Ivoire's IEC announced on Thursday that Ouattara won the presidential run-off by garnering 54.1 percent of the vote, while Gbagbo got 45.9 percent.

Cote d'Ivoire's presidential elections have been delayed since 2005 due to tension between the rebel-held north of the country and the south, which engaged in a civil war beginning 2002.

Source: Xinhua


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