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Panel in Côte d’Ivoire accepts UN election certification standards

Panel in Côte d’Ivoire accepts UN election certification standards

The committee that monitors last year’s political agreement in Côte d'Ivoire has accepted conditions for certifying the validity of upcoming elections which had been proposed by the United Nations’ top envoy to the divided West African country.

The so-called five-criteria framework, proposed by Y. J. Choi, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for the country, was approved yesterday by the follow-up committee in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, and the site where the agreement was signed.

The conditions for certification include: restoration of peace across the country, an inclusive political process, equal access to the state media, the establishment of objective electoral lists, and fair and unbiased poll results.

The criteria were developed by the UN in consultation with the Facilitator of the inter-Ivorian dialogue, President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, and the Ivorian parties, who have also welcomed them.

The Ouagadougou Political Agreement, reached in March 2007 was designed to end the political stalemate in Côte d’Ivoire, which has been split between the Government-controlled south and the Forces Nouvelles-held north since 2002.

It calls for the formation of a new transitional government, the holding of free and fair elections, and merging the national defence and security forces with the rebel Forces Nouvelles into an integrated body.