Côte d'Ivoire: UN envoy voices satisfaction with conduct of by-elections

Special Representative Bert Koenders. Photo: UNOCI

26 February 2012 – The head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Côte d'Ivoire today voiced his satisfaction with the conduct of the legislative by-elections in the country, saying the polls were carried out in an atmosphere of calm.

Bert Koenders, the Secretary-General's Special Representative and the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), expressed his satisfaction at the end of a tour of several polling stations accompanied by a number of foreign diplomats.

“Everything is calm. Uptil now, I have received no information to the contrary,” said Mr. Koenders in a press release.

“This is very positive and I'm very pleased. In fact we need to progress for the good of Côte d'Ivoire,” he added.

On the final certification of the legislative elections, Mr. Koenders said he would do it after country's institutions in charge of the polls have completed the electoral process.

The legislative by-elections were organised following a decision by the Constitutional Council to annul the results of the elections held on 11 December last year in certain constituencies after irregularities were uncovered.

The Constitutional Council received 107 complaints of irregularities from 66 constituencies. Eleven complaints were dismissed.

UNOCI deployed several other delegations to observe the conduct of the by-lections in various parts of the country.

Months of deadly fighting ensued when the incumbent Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down after losing a run-off election to Alassane Ouattara in late 2010. Mr. Gbagbo was eventually captured last year and is now facing trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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