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Opposition promises further protests until election body restored

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-23

The Ivory Coast opposition has promised to continue organising street demonstrations until the sacked Independent Electoral Commission is restored.

AFP - The Ivory Coast opposition warned Tuesday it would continue to organise street demonstrations until a sacked election body is restored and said it had not yet decided to join a unity government.

Opposition party talks "are continuing with the prime minister" on whether the two main parties would participate in a new government expected to be announced Tuesday, said Alphonse Djedje Mady of the RHDP.

He said that both the Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP

and the Ivorian Labour Party (PIT) would "maintain the order of contestation and demonstration until we see an Independent Electoral Commission put in place, and beginning its work".

"Our watchword is one we will only lift when the Independent Electoral Commission becomes effective in the application of its work," he said.

Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo fired the unity government and the electoral commission on February 12 amid charges of electoral fraud, sparking days of demonstrations in which at least seven people have been killed.

Prime Minister Guillaume Soro was expected to announce a new government on Tuesday after a west African mediator announced late Monday a deal had been sealed to avert a political crisis and keep long-awaited elections in sight.

Under Monday's deal, the main parties pledged "to reconstruct the Ivory Coast government (and) to reconstitute the Independent Electoral Commission this week," the mediator, Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore said.

Compaore gave no details on how agreement was reached.

He said however it would "allow work very quickly on the quality of the electoral list... but especially to accomplish the other tasks that will allow us to set a date very quickly for the presidential election this year."

Gbagbo said he had sacked the electoral commission because of fraud in the composition of the electoral rolls.

Long-delayed presidential elections were due to be held next month in the divided west African country.

Date created : 2010-02-23

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