Panafrican News Agency

ECOWAS notes continued points of disagreement in Ivorian electoral process

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (PANA) - The mission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said here Monday it had noted the persistence of points of disagreement in the Ivorian electoral process.

This, it noted, related particularly to the complaint of the Democratic Party of Côte d'Ivoire (PDCI) and the Ivorian Popular Front about (FPI) the weak representation of opposition political parties in the Independent Electoral Commission (C.E.I.).

"The mission observed continued mistrust from candidates and political actors to undertake initiatives for constructive dialogue for lasting solution to the divergences between them in the ongoing electoral process. In that respect, the mission urges the candidates to focus on realistic points that should help overcome the divergences in view of inclusive, transparent, reliable and non-violent participation in the presidential election," the mission said in its final declaration.

The mission invited candidates for the presidential election, as well as the political parties to make significant efforts to reach agreement concerning the election.

It reaffirmed its appeal to CENI to continues its meetings with the different candidates to find solutions to the pending problems.

The mission called on the presidential candidates of PDCI and FPI to reconsider seriously their decision to boycott the election and the call to their supporters to launch a civil disobedience protest against the electoral process.

Rather, they must work seriously to reach consensus on the electoral process since they might not be  able to control the excesses that would result from their appeal for civil disobedience.

"The mission strongly condemned the recent acts of violence and called all parties to show maximum of restraint," the declaration said.

It urged the authorities to invite the security forces to remain neutral, impartial and professional in the exercise of their duties.

In addition, the mission called on candidates and their supporters to show tolerance and avoid fiery comments and hate speeches that could lead to violence for which the authors and persons behind, either individually or collectively, could be held responsible.

The mission reassured the Ivorian authorities and stakeholders of ECOWAS’ continued support to support the electoral process to guarantee peace and stability in the country.

The mission was chaired by Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Ghana’s minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional integration, and chairwoman of the ECOWAS council of ministers.

She was accompanied by General Francis A. Behanzin, ECOWAS Commissioner for political affairs, Peace and Security.

The mission paid a courtesy call on Ivorian President Alassane Dramane Ouattara.

President Ouattara expressed his gratitude to ECOWAS for supporting the electoral process and reaffirmed his commitment to the promotion of peace and stability in Côte d'Ivoire and the holding of inclusive, peaceful, free and fair presidential election.

The mission held consultations with the main actors, particularly Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko, former president Henri Konan Bedie, Pascal Affi N'Guessan and Bertin Kouadjo Konan.

The Mission also met with an informal group of ambassadors accredited to Côte d'Ivoire, which included ambassadors of permanent member-countries of the UN Security Council.


-0-   PANA    TNDD/TBM/MSA/RA   19Oct2020