Côte d’Ivoire: UN envoy meets winner of presidential election

UN envoy to Côte d’Ivoire Y. J. Choi (right) with President Alassane Ouattara

9 December 2010 – The United Nations envoy to Côte d’Ivoire today discussed the post-election situation in the West African country with President Alassane Ouattara, the first time the two have met since the world body certified that he won last month’s presidential run-off poll.

Y. J. Choi, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, was asked after the meeting whether he plans to meet with outgoing president Laurent Gbagbo, who has refused to concede that he lost the run-off held on 28 November.

Mr. Choi, who also heads the UN Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), told reporters in the country’s commercial capital, Abidjan, that he was ready to pay Mr. Gbagbo a visit at any time.

The Security Council yesterday endorsed Mr. Ouattara’s victory and warned of “targeted measures” against anybody threatening the peace process in the divided country.

“In view of (regional body) ECOWAS’ recognition of Mr. Alassane Dramane Ouattara as President-elect of Côte d'Ivoire and representative of the freely expressed voice of the Ivorian people as proclaimed by the Independent Electoral Commission, the members of the Security Council call on all stakeholders to respect the outcome of the election,” the 15-member body said in a press statement, reiterating its support for the UN role in the country.

The statement followed a news conference in Abidjan at which Mr. Choi said there was absolutely no doubt Mr. Ouattara had won the election, which was a major step in the efforts to reunite the world’s largest cocoa exporter after it was split by civil war in 2002 into a Government-controlled south and a rebel-held north.

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