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Ivory Coast ballot recount 'grave injustice': UN Secretary General Ban

by Byo24NEWS
30 Jan 2011 at 11:21hrs | Views
A recount of Ivory Coast's disputed presidential election would be a "grave injustice," the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in remarks made public Sunday in Addis Ababa.

"Reopening the results of the election would be a grave injustice and set an unfortunate predecent," Ban said during a close-door meeting late Saturday in the Ethiopian capital ahead of an African Union summit.

Ivory Coast has been gripped by a political crisis sparked by the disputed November presidential poll run-off which showed incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo defeated by rival Alassane Ouattara to whom he has refused to relinquish power.

The UN, the African Union and other world powers recognise Ouattara as the winner of those polls and have piled pressure on Gbagbo to leave.

Gbagbo has previously called for a recount, a move rejected by Ouattara, while some African leaders against the use of force to dislodge Gbagbo have also called for an investigation into the disputed polls.

During the two-day Addis Ababa summit, African leaders will seek a common ground to end the Ivorian crisis.

The pan-African body on Friday announced the setting up of a five-member heads of state panel to make binding recommendations on the Ivory Coast rivals.

Ban underlined the importance of a "peaceful and honorable exit" for Gbagbo, and urged "President Ouattara to form a national unity government."

AU Commission chief Jean Ping said Saturday the panel would help Ouattara "exercise power" through a negotiated deal.

The AU's efforts to end the Ivorian crisis and respond to the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt come as it is poised to appoint as its chairman Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema who himself came to power through a coup in 1979.

The AU has yet to react to the popular revolt in Tunisia where weeks of protests ended the 23-year-old rule of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

On Saturday the bloc said it was "concerned" by the political unrest in Egypt which has claimed over 100 lives in five days.

"Egypt is going through a situation which we need to observe. It is a worrying situation," Ping told reporters Saturday.

"After what happened in Tunisia, we are observing the events elsewhere and we are concerned," he added.

Following south Sudan's referendum in which voters have chosen to secede, a special meeting on Sudan is to be held Monday between Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, his deputy Salva Kiir, also the president of south Sudan, Ban and Ethiopian premier Meles Zenawi.

The first complete preliminary results published Sunday. showed close to 99 percent of south Sudanese chose to secede from the north in a January 9-15 referendum.

Updated figures published on the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission's website and accounting for 100 percent of ballots cast in both the north and the south gave secession an overwhelming 98.83 percent of the vote.

The results were expected to be confirmed Sunday by commission officials during an official ceremony attended by president Salva Kiir in the southern capital Juba.

Kenya meanwhile has been lobbying African leaders to give their backing to deferring the cases of top officials named by the International Criminal Court's prosecutor as suspects in the 2007-2008 deadly post-election violence.

Source - Byo24NEWS