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Ivory Coast gets UN praise after successful referendum vote

Ivory Coast gets UN praise after successful referendum vote

Ivory Coast

The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon has congratulated the people of Ivory Coast after the conduct of a referendum vote proposed by president Alassane Ouattara for a new constitution.

He added that the UN was ready to support the consolidation of peace and stability in Côte d’Ivoire. Despite a turn out of about 42%, Ivorians voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new constitution in a referendum held last Sunday.

Results released on Tuesday showed that over 93 percent of the voters had backed the new charter. President Ouattara says the new law will ensure peace in the wake of years of political turmoil.

‘‘He notes with satisfaction that the new Constitution addresses some of the long-standing causes of tension and divisions in Côte d’Ivoire,’‘ a statement attributable to his office stated.
 
‘‘The Secretary-General encourages all Ivorian parties, especially political leaders and their supporters to reject violence and refrain from the use of inflammatory and incendiary language.

‘‘He urges them to resolve any differences or disputes through constitutional means and pursue a political dialogue focused on the holding of open, free and fair legislative elections in the weeks ahead,’‘ the statement added.

Opposition parties had called for a boycott of the polls, saying the new decree was designed in a way that will allow Ouattara to line up his choice of a successor and solidify his coalition.

Under the newly adopted changes, the constitution will allow for the creation of a post for a vice president, and the setting up of a senate, a third of whom would be nominated by the head of state.

It will also suppress a contested clause on national identity — the so-called “Ivorian-ness” clause which took effect in 2000 and stipulates that both parents of a presidential candidate must be born on Ivorian soil and not have sought nationality in another country.

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