The UN operation in this West African nation (UNOCI) is calling on the authorities to finalise its voters’ list in order to ensure that the electoral process runs to schedule. The election is set to take place on 31st October, following five years of postponements and ensuing political instability. UNOCI was founded in ‘04 by the Security Council in order to oversee the peace process in the country, which had been divided after the ‘02 civil war between the rebel-dominated north and government controlled south.
Spokesman for the organisation, Hamadoun Touré told the media that UNOCI would continue to monitor the establishment of polling stations and the electoral process to make sure that data was correctly validated or rejected when merging information contained in the provisional voters’ list. He also praised the publication of a guide pertaining to media coverage of the elections in the country: ‘UNOCI believes in ensuring compliance with this useful tool and the ethical values and standards it contains’.
However, some newspapers in the country appear cynical, suggesting little confidence in UNOCI’s efforts to ensure a fair election. Newspaper, Le Nouveau Courrier has queried the credibility of the voters’ list, saying many requests for names to be added to or removed from it were ignored. The newspaper also suggests that the electoral process is being hampered by dysfunction in certain constituencies.
These accusations come despite a fresh government and electoral commission installed earlier this year to address issues such as fraud and appeals on the provisional voters’ list.