13 July 2009 –The top
United Nations envoy to Côte d’Ivoire has held talks with the President of the nation on progress made in the peace process, including voter identification and registration, and the upcoming presidential elections.
During the meeting held Sunday 12th July in the capital, Yamoussoukro, with President Laurent Gbagbo, UN envoy Y. J. Choi, congratulated the Ivorian Government for its identification and voter registration scheme, which wrapped up on Tues 30th June.
With 6.5 million voters having been identified or registered, Choi said the operation ‘constitutes a solid basis to accelerate the crisis resolution process.’
The stalled elections, scheduled for Nov 29th, present an ‘exceptional window of opportunity,’ he told Gbagbo.
Financing for the polls has been secured and the political will needed is in place, with technical, management and planning issues being the remaining challenges, the Choi said.
In his latest report on the work of the UN operation in the country, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon stressed that the country’s political parties have the responsibility for ensuring that the elections are held on time and are free, fair and transparent.
He wrote that he has been encouraged by the progress so far, including the ongoing pre-electoral campaigning activities and the parties’ reaffirmation that all signatories of the 2003 peace accord are eligible to stand as candidates in the upcoming polls.
‘It is the political will and calculations of the main Ivorian political
players that will ultimately determine whether or not the election date will
be respected’ the UN scribe wrote.