The United Nations mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) is closely monitoring efforts to establish a government – including an independent electoral commission – and to resume plans for long-awaited elections in the West African country, where a political crisis following the dissolution of the government last month sparked deadly street protests.
At a press conference today in Zouan Hounien, 750 kilometres outside Abidjan, UNOCI Spokesperson Hamadoun Toure outlined the remaining tasks in the electoral process that has been repeatedly derailed since 2005 when presidential polls were originally scheduled.
The first task was the resumption of the appeals process on registration on the provisional electoral list throughout the country, Mr. Toure said about the remaining challenges.
“The achievement of this operation will lead to the second crucial stage which is the production of the definitive electoral list,” which will be followed by the production and distribution of identity and voters’ cards, Mr. Toure added.
The presidential polls will go a long way to ending years of instability and stalemate following a civil war that divided the country into a rebel-held north and Government-controlled south in 2002.
Mr. Toure appealed for commitment to ensure that “sensitive phases of the electoral process take place in a calm atmosphere and in accordance with the agreed rules.”
UNOCI will continue to provide various forms of support to ensure that the tasks are carried out and open, fair, free and transparent elections are successfully organized, he added.
Since the latest political crisis erupted, UN officials, particularly the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Côte d’Ivoire and head of UNOCI, Y. J. Choi, have been meeting with key actors to keep the electoral process moving.