Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on all parties in Côte d’Ivoire to fix a new date as soon as possible for their much-delayed elections, now postponed yet again from their latest deadline of this month.
Welcoming yesterday’s publication of the provisional voter list in the West African country, split by civil war in 2002 into a Government-ruled south and a rebel-controlled north, he assured all parties that the UN would continue to provide the necessary financial, technical and logistical aid to help them organize and conduct open, free, fair and transparent elections.
The elections, originally scheduled for as far back as 2005, were planned for 29 November after repeated postponements.
“The Secretary-General believes that with this important development [the provisional list], the Ivorian parties and institutions have made significant progress towards the establishment of a consensual and transparent voters list,” a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said.
“The Secretary-General now encourages all the Ivorian parties to build further on this critical milestone in order to prepare the final voters list and move forward in determining a new election date as soon as possible.”
A UN peacekeeping mission, known as UNOCI, has been stationed in Côte d’Ivoire since 2004 to help ensure a ceasefire and pave the way for permanent peace and democratic elections. Reauthorized repeatedly since then, most recently until 31 January 2010, it currently comprises nearly 8,400 uniformed personnel, as well as 407 international civilian staff.