Ivorian opposition expresses concern about electoral process

Abidjan- Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) -- The Ivorian opposition, regrouped under the Rally of Houphouestists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP), has expressed worry about "major uncertainties on the effective date of elections" in the West African country.
"It appears that major uncertainties remain on the effective date of elections in Cote d'Ivoire in contravention of the Ouagadougou political agreement and conclusions of the 12 June 2007 permanent committee of consultation in Yamoussoukro," Alphonse Djédjé, chairman of the RHDP, said in a statement in Abidjan.
The statement, which referred to the roles of President Laurent Gbagbo and Prime Minister, Guillaume Soro, was in reaction to a speech made on Wednesday evening on television by President Gbagbo on the social and political situation in the country.
The RHDP said President Gbagbo's speech showed that he was "satisfied with the slow peace process".
The opposition noted that Prime Minister Soro "has no specific powers" that would allow him to accelerate the current process after the signing of the Ouagadougou political agreement.
Noting that no effort had been made by the President and Prime Minister to accelerate the electoral process, the opposition rejected moves to postpone the next elections to October 2008 as advocated by the president's side.
"This series of postponements shows that the president's side wants to gain time and extend its mandate as the head of state," the RHDP stressed, and urged the government to take all necessary measures for the new national identity cads and voters' cards to be issued to voters duly registered on the 2000 electoral list.
Djédjé also denounced "the serious financial scams, the high cost of living, the widespread corruption, bad governance and the state's failure to take its responsibilities" in the face of the sufferings of the people.
The hijacking of the coffee-cocoa system, the purchase of a coffee plant in the US, the case of Ivorian oil and the false dollar notes were also at the centre of concerns expressed by the opposition, which demanded that President Gbagbo be questioned by judges for the truth to be established as regards these "nasty cases".

21 october 2007 15:27:00




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