- At last, a date has been set for presidential elections in the troubled West African state of Côte d'Ivoire following the restoration of peace and stability. The Ivorian President, Laurent Gbagbo, fixed end of December as the time when Ivorians will elect their leader.
In a national televised address, President Gbagbo said Ivorians should use the elections to bury their political crisis. Withith goodwill and determination of all Ivorian citizens, Mr Gbagbo is optimistic that presidential elections could be staged as soon as the end of the year.
Mr Gbagbo urged Ivorians to grab the opportunity to foster peace, national reconciliation and shape a better future of Côte d'Ivoire that had gone through a five-year bloody civil war.
The Ivorian leader also asked Prime Minister, Guillaume Soro, to move fast in preparing the agenda for the elections. Mr Soro’s is already on course for the organisation of elections. His office is trying to address the complex and delicate identification and registration of voters, which according to sources, had contributed in fuelling the Ivorian crisis.
Since October 2005, presidential elections had been rescheduled in Côte d'Ivoire. The mandate of the former Secretary General of Forces Nouvelles would expire after elections take place.
But President Gbagbo said time has come for his country shift away from giving the impression that it wants to delay elections because the process legitimises governments.
The Ivorian crisis, which started on 19 September 2002, had divided the country’s north and south for five years. However, following the signing of a peace deal in Ouagadou on 4 March this year, Ivorians have since been breathing the air of peace, reconciliation and unity.
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