25 October 2010 With the people of Côte d’Ivoire heading to polls this weekend for the much-delayed presidential election, 31 October will be a “historic” day for the West African nation, a senior United Nations official said today.
Solutions have been found for all logistical and political challenges in the run-up to the Sunday polls, Y. J. Choi, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative, told reporters in New York via video conference.
“For the time being, I don’t see any serious obstacles” before the election, he said, voicing confidence that it will be held on 31 October as scheduled.
The election, intended to end the division of the West African country caused by civil war in 2002, was first meant to have taken place in 2005.
According to the timetable drawn up by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the final results of the first round will be announced on 10 November before they are certified by Mr. Choi. If there is no clear winner, a second round will be held on 28 November.
Earlier this month, the UN envoy announced that the campaign for the elections started calmly despite passions inherent in such a poll.
The UN peacekeeping force in Côte d’Ivoire, known as UNOCI, has flown in hundreds of additional soldiers to reinforce its 8,650 troops already there. The mission was set up in 2004 to monitor a ceasefire and to help bring stability, including holding elections, to end the split of the world’s largest cocoa producer into a Government-controlled south and a rebel-held north.
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