- The Cote d'Ivoire presidential elections are expected by 6 December 2009, the Ivorian Ambassador to UN Ilahiri A. Djedje said late Tuesday.
Addressing the UN Security Council, the Ambassador said the peace process in Cote d' Ivoire is not stalling, saying all the signatories to the Ouagadougou Political Agreement (OPA), signed in 2007, have agreed to hold elections before the end of the year.
The Ivorian polls have stalled since October 2005 due to a division between the rebel north and government-controlled south, separated by a buffer zone patrolled by UN and French peacekeepers.
He said as of Tuesday, 6,081,625 people of a total of 8,600,000 voters, had been registered, with the hope that registration could be completed by mid-June paving the way for preparations for the elections.
Meanwhile, United Nations envoy Choi Young-Jin, said international efforts in Côte d'Ivoire should now be focused on uniting the country which has been divided since 2002 between the government and the rebel forces.
In his latest report to the Security Council, Secretary-General Ban called for a realistic timetable for the holding of the long-postponed elections as a matter of urgency, saying that the polls would bring to a successful conclusion the current transitional arrangement in Côte d'Ivoire.
Earlier this month, the former Ivorian rebels called on their leader, Guillaume Soro, to quit the prime minister’s post and distance himself from the government, after accusing the government of stalling the processes leading to elections as prescribed in the peace agreement in 2007.
Côte d'Ivoire, a leading cocoa and diamond exporter in West Africa, was split in two after a botched coup attempt by New Forces (FN) rebels in 2002, with the north remaining under FN control.
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