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Ivory Coast: presidential election postponed until 2009

Latest update : 2008-10-16

The Ivory Coast's presidential election, set for Nov. 30, is to be postponed until 2009 due to technical and logistical problems, according to sources. No official announcement has been made.

President Laurent Gbagbo may be campaigning in the north of the Ivory Coast but FRANCE 24 is able to reveal, according to reliable sources, that the presidential election set for Nov. 30 will not take place in 2008.

 

The delay is mostly due to a confusing registration process started on September 15 and overseen by the French company, Sagem.

With problems locating suitable premises, delays in delivering various materials and difficulty in training staff, the postponement was surely due to "technical and logistical" concerns, a source in  Abidjan told FRANCE 24. "There's nothing political blocking it," added a reliable source.

 

It remains to be seen how the news will be announced to the people of the Ivory Coast. There could be two stages to the communication - first, official confirmation of the election's postponement, followed by the announcement of a new ballot date. But nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news. No one wants to demobilise the electorate or compromise the electoral process in the country.
 
Around nine million voters are expected to register on the electoral roll. The ballot should take place at the beginning of 2009, most probably before the rainy season starts in April.

Will Gbagbo personally address the Ivorian people?  As things stand, Prime Minister Guillaume Soro and senior political figures - including the two opposition presidential candidates,  former president Henri Konan Bédié and former prime minister Alassane Outtara in particular - are said to be aware of the situation.

 

The decision should be officially announced shortly. It's the job of the country's independent electoral commission to do it.

Date created : 2008-10-15

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