Côte d’Ivoire: UN mission welcomes signing of electoral code of conduct
The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) today welcomed the adoption by the country’s major political parties of a code of good conduct for upcoming general elections.
The code will help with efforts to ensure that the elections are “free, transparent, democratic and conforming with international norms,” UNOCI said in a press statement issued from Abidjan, the commercial capital in the West African nation.
Côte d’Ivoire had been divided between the Government-controlled south and the rebel Forces Nouvelles-held north since 2002, but a peace accord signed by the leaders of the two sides in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, earlier this year is designed to end the deadlock and lead to elections by next year. Polls had been planned for October but were delayed.
The accord outlines a series of measures, including: the creation of a new transitional government; organizing free and fair presidential elections; the merging of the Forces Nouvelles and the national defence and security forces through the establishment of an integrated command centre; the dismantling of militias and disarming of ex-combatants; and the replacement of the so-called zone of confidence separating north and south with a green line to be monitored by UNOCI.
The mission said the code was a “significant advance” towards the implementation of the Ouagadougou agreement, but it warned the major political groupings that they must now ensure they apply the code as soon as possible.
The code was drawn up under the auspices of Côte d’Ivoire’s Independent Electoral Commission.