The United Nations Representative in Côte d'Ivoire met today with the new President of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in a bid to reenergize a stalled electoral process further delayed by last month’s dissolution of the Government and deadly street protests.
Special Representative of the Secretary General for Côte d’Ivoire, Y.J. Choi, told Issouf Bakayoko, the new IEC President and a former interior minister, that the UN peacekeeping mission in the West African country (UNOCI) will assist his institution in the run-up to the elections.
The meeting comes one day after Mr. Choi said the best way to prevent the electoral dynamic from weakening further was to re-launch the work of the IEC as soon as possible, and resume the processing of appeals on the provisional electoral list.
Resuming the appeals process is seen as the final step before an electoral list can be created, followed by the production and distribution of identity and voters’ cards.
“Since the beginning of the year, we have lost two months with the political impasse and the delays are accumulating,” Mr. Choi said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
Elections in Côte d’Ivoire have been marred by multiple delays since 2005.
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. Choi addressed the reunification issue, which, according to him, is a process linked to the electoral dynamic.
“Now, it is undeniable that the electoral dynamic is linked to reunification,” he said.
In recent days, Mr. Choi has held multiple talks with the various political parties involved, including President Laurent Gbagbo, who dissolved the Government and the IEC on 12 February.
A statement from UNOCI says that the objective of these intense consultations is to gather information to be relayed to the Security Council and to revive the electoral process.