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Côte d'Ivoire / UNOCI chief, representative of the facilitator discuss progress made in the crisis-resolution process

By Mission of UN in Côte d'Ivoire
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ABIDJAN, Côte d'Ivoire, February 28, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Côte d'Ivoire, Bert Koenders, met on Monday 27 February with the Representative of the Facilitator of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement, Boureima Badini.

According to Mr. Koenders, the meeting was part of regular consultations he maintains with the Representative of the Facilitator to look at progress made in the crisis-resolution process. “We took a look at the elections and tried to see what will happen with regard to the establishment of the National Assembly,” he said, adding:”Of course, we also looked at the political dialogue in the country”.

Regarding Sunday's legislative by-elections, Mr. Koenders said he was satisfied at the conduct of the poll in the 11 constituencies where it had to be re-run and the constituency where it could not be held in December because of the death of a candidate during the electoral campaign. The UNOCI chief said that, globally, voting was calm, despite the fact that shots were registered in the town of Bonon and were even directed against the UNOCI force.

“I deplore this and I think the politicians have to assume their responsibilities in Bonon and work together,” he said, adding: “I have sent Force Commander General [Gnakoudé] Béréna to discuss the situation. Generally, I am very satisfied, the last phase of the elections went very well and I would not like an incident to destroy that, which is why I invite all politicians to call on their supporters to be calm; it's a fight for democracy.”.

For the next phase, Mr. Koenders stated that as soon as the process is completed with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), which has promised the results for Tuesday, and the Constitutional Council for eventual appeals, he would do “a total certification on the entire conduct of the legislative elections and also make some recommendations for the future”. “That will be, I hope, as quickly as possible,” said Mr. Koenders.

For his part, the Representative of the Facilitator expressed joy at the global success of the operation. “Things went well. Security was there. I thank UNOCI, which provided massive support to the Ivorian state to organise and secure the process,” Mr. Badini said. “We observed a low turnout compared to what went before, but generally, people freely expressed their choice so we think Côte d'Ivoire will now be able to install its institutions, particularly the National Assembly”.