Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced his support for today’s certification by his envoy in Côte d’Ivoire of the result of last Sunday’s presidential run-off, and congratulated the winning candidate, Alassane Ouattara, while urging him to work towards lasting peace.
“The Secretary-General wishes to emphasize that the will of the Ivorian people must be respected, and calls upon all Ivorians to accept the certified outcome and to work together in a spirit of peace and reconciliation for the stability and prosperity of their country,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesman.
“All persons must refrain from any violence or action that would cause any disruption in society. The Secretary-General warns those who may incite or perpetrate violence that they will be held accountable,” said the statement, which was issued after Mr. Ban’s Special Representative for Côte d’Ivoire, Y. J. Choi, certified the result of the 28 November poll.
Côte d’Ivoire’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) yesterday declared Mr. Ouattara, a former prime minister in the country, the winner of the elections in which he ran against incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo.
Mr. Ban called on Mr. Gbagbo “to do his part for the good of the country and to cooperate in a smooth political transition in the country.”
The Secretary-General assured the people of Côte d'Ivoire that the UN mission there (UNOCI), in cooperation with the international community, will undertake all possible actions, within its mandate to preserve peace and security in the country.
He stressed that that the UN remains deeply committed to supporting the successful conclusion of the Ivorian peace process and looked forward to working closely with the president-elect and the future Government of Cote d’Ivoire.
Mr. Choi, as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, was mandated by the Security Council to certify that “all stages of the electoral process provide all the necessary guarantees for the holding of open, free, fair and transparent presidential and legislative elections in Côte d’Ivoire in accordance with international standards.”
In his certification of the election result today, Mr. Choi declared that: “Even if all the complaints made by the presidential camp to the Constitutional Council were taken into account in terms of numbers of tally sheets, and consequently the votes, the outcome of the second round of the presidential elections as proclaimed by the IEC President on 2 December would not change, with candidate Ouattara being the winner of the presidential election.”
The head of Côte d’Ivoire’s Constitutional Council had, following the release of the election result yesterday, declared the IEC announcement “null and void,” and had earlier today proclaimed Mr. Gbagbo as the winner, after cancelling voting returns from four northern regions.
Cote d’Ivoire, the world’s largest cocoa exporter, was split by civil war in 2002 into a Government-controlled south and a rebel-held north, and UNOCI, with a current strength of over 9,000 uniformed personnel, has been supporting reunification efforts, of which Sunday’s vote was a principal step.