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December 6, 10

NEWS / UN chief confers with regional leaders on Ivorian political deadlock

6 December 2010 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is consulting with a number of leaders on the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, where a dispute has erupted over the outcome of recent elections and both candidates have reportedly declared themselves president.

Mr. Ban on Friday voiced his support for the certification of the results of the presidential run-off polls held on 28 November by his Special Representative in the country, Y. J. Choi, and congratulated the winning candidate, Alassane Ouattara.

The certification followed the declaration of the results by Côte d’Ivoire’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), which announced Mr. Ouattara, a former prime minister in the country, as the winner of the elections in which he ran against incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo.

Following the release of the results, the head of Côte d’Ivoire’s Constitutional Council declared the IEC announcement “null and void,” and proceeded to proclaim Mr. Gbagbo as the winner, after cancelling voting returns from four northern regions.

Mr. Ban has been in close contact with African leaders, including President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, who is also the current Chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi, who is also the current Chair of the African Union, as well as Jean Ping, Chair of the Commission of the African Union.

A statement issued by the Secretary-General’s spokesperson added that Mr. Ban is also consulting with former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who is currently in Côte d’Ivoire on behalf of the African Union.

Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s largest cocoa exporter, was split by civil war in 2002 into a Government-controlled south and a rebel-held north.

The UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), with a current strength of over 9,000 uniformed personnel, has been supporting reunification efforts, of which the election was a principal step.




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