Côte d'Ivoire: UN official announces new measures to ensure credible election

25 November 2010

The United Nations envoy in Côte d''Ivoire today announced new measures to enhance the transparency and credibility of presidential election, three days ahead of the run-off poll in the West Africa country.

The United Nations envoy in Côte d'Ivoire today announced new measures to enhance the transparency and credibility of presidential election, three days ahead of the run-off poll in the West Africa country.

Y. J. Choi, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Côte d'Ivoire, told a news conference in Abidjan that significant improvements have been made in the vote counting process and in the transportation and security of the tally reports.

The changes relate mainly to the transportation of the tally reports in the cities of Abidjan and Bouaké, Mr. Choi, who heads of the UN peacekeeping force in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), said.

Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo and former prime minister, Alassane Ouattara, are the two candidates in the run-off slated for Sunday after garnering the highest number of votes in the first round of the election on 31 October.

“Following a proposal from UNOCI, the IEC [Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)] agreed that the UN Mission will transport all the tally reports from polling stations in Abidjan and Bouaké, to its main headquarters via the local, communal, departmental and regional electoral commissions,” Mr. Choi explained, adding that UNOCI will mobilize all the necessary means, including the military, civilian officials and the police, to provide security.

“In addition, UNOCI will provide more than 400 vehicles to transport the tally reports and IEC chairmen, as well as representatives of the candidates who so wish,” Mr. Choi added.

In the rest of the country, UNOCI will also provide air and ground transportation for the tally reports from the local electoral offices to the IEC's headquarters in Abidjan, under UN military and police escort.

Mr. Choi said that transportation of individual tally reports between some 9,000 voting sites and the local electoral commissions was the responsibility of the IEC, which has financial support from the international community and logistical support from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), as was the case during the first round of the election.

He said that Japan, the European Union and Switzerland had provided funds to enable each local electoral commission to hire vehicles to transport the tally reports from the polling stations to the local polls offices, in addition to the vehicles provided by UNOPs.

“We want not only to increase the means of transport, but also improve transparency by allowing representatives of the candidates to be transported in the same convoy as the chairman of the local electoral commission and the tally reports and to monitor the transporting of the tally reports,” Mr. Choi explained.

He said that two other important measures taken by the IEC with regard to ensuring transparency are the posting of the tally reports in each of the polling stations and local, departmental and regional commissions, as well as giving official copies of tally reports to representatives of the two candidates before they are taken to the local electoral commission.

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