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UN Secretary-General deeply concerned over political standoff in Côte d'Ivoire

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed deep concern over the continuing stand-off in Côte d'Ivoire, despite the “transparent and credible” outcome of the presidential run-off polls announced by the country's electoral commission on Wednesday and certified by the United Nations envoy.

“The Secretary-General stresses that the outcome of the presidential election as certified by his Special Representative, has been recognized by the broad international community, demonstrating the firm resolve and commitment of the international community towards Côte d'Ivoire,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban's spokesperson.

Mr. Ban reiterated his call for the Ivorian people to remain calm and patient and emphasized that the UN, including the United Nations Operation in Côte d''Ivoire (UNOCI), will do everything within its mandate to preserve peace and security in the country.

Yesterday, Mr. voiced his support for the certification election results by his Special Representative in the country, Y. J. Choi, and congratulated the winning candidate, Alassane Ouattara, while urging him to work towards lasting peace.

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.

In his certification of the election result today, Mr. Choi declared that: “Even if all the complaints made by the presidential camp to the Constitutional Council were taken into account in terms of numbers of tally sheets, and consequently the votes, the outcome of the second round of the presidential elections as proclaimed by the IEC President on 2 December would not change, with candidate Ouattara being the winner of the presidential election.”

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