A high-level mission to Cote d’Ivoire, led by Chairperson of ECOWAS Council of Ministers, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has tasked political actors and stakeholders to hold a credible and transparent election as it goes to the polls on October 31.
The joint mission, made up of representatives from the African Union (AU), ECOWAS, the United Nations (UN) and Conseil de L’entente, paid a three-day visit to the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire from October 4 to 7, 2020, as part of preventive diplomatic efforts by the four entities, to promote a peaceful, transparent and credible presidential election in the country.
The high-powered delegation in a communique dated October 7, 2020 said, “The Joint Mission urged all stakeholders to use dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues and to commit themselves to the organisation and holding of a credible, transparent, and inclusive election, respectful human rights and taking into account the preventive measures related to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic”.
It entreated Ivorian authorities to secure the electoral processes and be concerned with the safety of candidates as well as their supporters throughout the entire duration of the election.
According to the delegation, stakeholders must review and comply with the existing ‘Code of Good Conduct’ for political parties, political forces and election candidates, to create a conducive environment for a democratic election.
The special delegation, however, was worried over the lack of trust among Ivorian political actors and further condemned the acts of violence and hate speech, which they believe may negatively impact the country’s progress.
While affirming their commitment to accompany the people of Côte d’Ivoire in this critical phase of democratic consolidation, the joint mission informed the Ivorian authorities and political actors of ECOWAS and African Union’s intention to deploy election observers for the election come October 31, 2020.
The communique further indicated that the joint mission was received by President Alassane Ouattara, who pledged his determination to promote peace in Cote d’Ivoire and the entire sub-region.
President Ouattara also expressed his gratitude for “the manifestation of international solidarity with the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire and assured the Mission that he would spare no effort to ensure the holding of a credible, inclusive, transparent and peaceful presidential election in Côte”.