IVORY COAST HOLD LONG-AWAITED PRESIDENTIAL POLL IN DECEMBER


Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, will hold its long-delayed presidential elections by December 6 at the latest, the West African country’s U.N. ambassador said on Tuesday. “The peace process in Ivory Coast is not at an impasse,” Ambassador Alcide Djedje told the U.N. Security Council during a meeting on the Ivory Coast.

delayed-poll“The political decision has already been taken,” he told the 15-nation council. “The first round of the presidential elections in Ivory Coast will take place no later than December 6, 2009.” Ivory Coast has been due to hold elections for many years but the polls, meant to be the final step in reuniting the country after a 2002-2003 civil war, have been repeatedly postponed due to disagreements over disarmament and voter lists.

The top U.N. official in Ivory Coast, Young-Jin Choi, said organizing an election by December 6 would be a “tall order.” “Technically it’s absolutely feasible,” he told reporters after the Security Council meeting.

“But … they decided that the reunification must take place two months prior to the election — in other words, in October of this year,” Choi said. “So we have to see how the reunification process proceeds.” He said reunification would be a very complicated process, involving the transfer of separate treasury, police, gendarmerie and other authorities to the central government.

SOURCED FROM REUTERS


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