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05.12.2011 Ivory Coast

Côte d'Ivoire / Certification of legislative elections will be done in 205 electoral districts, says UNOCI chief

By Mission of UN in Côte d'Ivoire
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ABIDJAN, Côte d'Ivoire, December 5, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Summary of UNOCI weekly press conference

The certification of the legislative elections will be done in the 205 electoral districts throughout the country, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Côte d'Ivoire, Bert Koenders, announced in Abidjan on Friday.

Speaking at his first press conference since his arrival in Abidjan on 24 October 2011, Mr. Koenders recalled the five criteria for certification (peace, inclusion, state media, the electoral list and the results), before explaining that his assessment of the results will focus on three main aspects based of the relevant documents. He said he would use the reports of UNOCI civilian and military personnel deployed in the different electoral districts to monitor electoral operations.

Mr. Koenders added that the certification will also be based on the tally sheets, which will be transmitted in real time by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), as well on any challenges to the results, copies of which will be sent to him. He also said that an important system had been put in place to ensure transparency in the elections, which is essential for the certification process.

With regard to the safeguarding of the results, the Special Representative said that he would ensure that the certified results are respected.

“I would like to reassure national and international opinion that everything will be done according to the rules, with total impartiality, based on the pre-established criteria. I assure you there will be no results under the table and the truth which comes out of the ballot box will correspond with the certified results. I will not allow the results to be manipulated at any stage. They will conform to the rules of the game which have already been defined in the country,” added the chief of UNOCI.

Speaking earlier about preparations for the polls, the Special Representative had given the assurance that UNOCI had practically completed all its tasks. In addition, it had also transported non-sensitive electoral material from warehouses in Abidjan and Yamoussoukro to 68 prefectures, he added.

With regard to the sensitive material, he said that UNOCI will also transport these to the prefectures once they are handed over by the IEC.

He announced that the UN mission was getting ready to deploy human and material resources throughout Côte d'Ivoire for the smooth holding of the elections, to ensure transparency, and monitor the security situation.

On the issue of security provisions, the Special Representative told journalists that 7,000 military and police elements will be provided by UNOCI to support the 25,000 Ivorian gendarmes, police and military assigned to this task.

Turning to other issues, Mr. Koenders spoke about his contacts and consultations with political parties and groups, as well as members of civil society, and regional organisations, to discuss inclusive elections and promote constructive dialogue.

“Ivorians are waiting for politicians to focus on the future of the country, its economic revival, the creation of employment for their children, equal opportunity for all in education, health, food and housing, in other words what we refer to as their main daily concerns,” stressed the Chief of UNOCI, who also insisted on freedom of expression and responsible behavior by media professionals. He urged the political actors to respect the code of conduct which they signed in 2008.

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