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23.11.2011 Ivory Coast

Côte d'Ivoire / UNOCI chief visits RDR leadership

By Mission of UN in Côte d'Ivoire
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ABIDJAN, Côte d'Ivoire, November 23, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Côte d'Ivoire, Bert Koenders, as part of his series of encounters with political parties, on Wednesday, 23 November 2011, went to the headquarters of the Rally of Republicans (RDR) in Abidjan, to discuss various issues with the party's members led by the acting secretary-general, Amadou Soumahoro.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, Mr. Koenders told journalists that he had discussed several issues with the RDR representatives, such as the mandate of the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), the forthcoming legislative elections, economic development and the country's future.

With regard to the elections, the Special Representative said that he had noted that the RDR agreed with him that it was important to build a concensus, in an effort to avoid excesses and have truly free and fair elections in the country, he explained.

He, therefore, urged political parties that signed the Code of Conduct in April 2008 in the presence of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to adhere to the spirit of the code. “We are just two weeks away from the polls and the political parties which freely signed the Code of Conduct must adhere to the spirit of this code,” said the chief of UNOCI, adding that it was necessary for the country and for the political parties to work to advance the spirit of democracy.

Echoing the words of the Special Representative, Mr. Soumahoro gave the assurance that his party was quietly preparing for the elections in the spirit described by Mr. Koenders. “We also wish for the elections to be held under secure and peaceful conditions for everyone,” said the acting head of the RDR.

Mr. Soumahoro recalled the instructions which had been given to candidates of his party. “I asked them to have messages that bring people together, peaceful messages, republican messages and I believe this should apply to everyone,” he said. “We should be helping to strengthen cohesion in the country by encouraging the participation of all political forces in national politics, this is what the RDR wants and that would be our conduct during the elections,” Mr. Soumahoro said, adding that the Code of Conduct would serve as the RDR's compass. “It has inspired us and we have an interest in ensuring that the elections strengthen the return of peace and cohesion in the country,” he concluded.

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