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Côte d'Ivoire / The legislative polls were held in a calm atmosphere despite some security incidents, says UNOCI chief

By Mission of UN in Côte d'Ivoire
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ABIDJAN, Côte d'Ivoire, December 12, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Summary of the press conference of the Special Representative of UN Secretary General for Côte d'Ivoire

Speaking on the evening of the legislative polls on Sunday, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Côte d'Ivoire, Bert Koenders, said that generally, the day had been calm in the polling stations visited in the district of Abidjan and in the interior of the country.

Giving a general assessment of the day to the press, Mr. Koenders welcomed the discreet but effective security arrangements put in place by the Government, and the collaboration with UNOCI elements deployed throughout the country, but also highlighted some security incidents. “In Bonon, in the Bouaflé region, armed individuals stole electoral material, including ballot boxes, » said the Special Representative.

“I strongly condemn the acts of violence and intimidation. We are waiting for a complete report of the situation in order to know the nature of the incidents and assess their impact on the voting,” he added.

Mr. Koenders explained the rest of the process, adding that after the closure of the polling stations, teams from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UNOCI were transporting the tally sheets from polling stations to the local electoral commissions. The Special Representative said that the consolidation of the results will be done in 300 local commissions, while the publication of the preliminary results will be done in the IEC's 105 commissions de sièges. This evening's counting of the votes and transportation of the results is very important for the final assessment of these elections, he added.

In this regard, Mr. Koenders urged the IEC to publish the results within a reasonable deadline and as they receive them from the districts. Echoing the words of the national observers from civil society organizations, Mr. Koenders strongly urged all political groups and the media to respect the exclusive competence of the IEC to announce the results.

In this connection, the Special Representative welcomed the improved conduct of the public and private media during the electoral campaign, calling on them to keep up this exemplary attitude in the coming days.

He recalled his certification role, stressing that he would carry it out after the Constitutional Council had studied any electoral claims. “This certification will be carried out on the basis of the five criteria agreed upon by all the Ivorian parties and validated by the United Nations Security Council, namely peace and security; inclusiveness; state media; the voters' list and the results”, said the Special Representative.

From now until the certification, he stated, “I await the information from the competent institutions and call on the national, but also the international, actors to exercise calm”.