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ECOWAS deploys observers for the 2015 presidential election in Cote d’Ivoire
 Olusegun-ObasanjoIn keeping with its Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will deploy an election observation mission to monitor the Ivorian presidential election scheduled for Sunday 25 October 2015.


Led by the former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, the mission’s principal objective will be to ensure a smooth electoral process leading to free, transparent and credible election.


The mission will be supported by a technical assistance team from the ECOWAS Commission, which includes the Commission President, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, and the Director of Political Affairs, Dr. Remi Ajibewa. The team will also comprise the Commission’s Head of Electoral Assistance Division, Francis Oké, and other staff of the institution.


The 120-strong observation mission made up of short-term observers with varied and broad expertise from all ECOWAS Member States, except Côte d’Ivoire, will among others consist of members of the ECOWAS Court of Justice, the Council of the Wise of the regional organisation, and Community Parliamentarians. It will also include Member States’ delegates, representatives of the region’s national electoral commissions as well as experts trained at the Accra-based Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre.


The 120 short-term observers will join the other 15 long-term observers who are already in the country since 10 October 2015; thus bringing to one hundred and thirty-five (135) the total number of ECOWAS observers deployed to monitor this year’s presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire. The 15 long-term observers are specialists in security, gender, electoral operations, constitutional law and communication.


The observers will be deployed in all regions of the country to observe and monitor pre-electoral, electoral and post-electoral operations and issue a statement on the voting process. The observation will also focus on the regularity, transparency, fairness and smooth conduct of the presidential election.


At the end of the election, the ECOWAS Observation Mission will express its opinion and, if necessary, make appropriate recommendations to the various stakeholders in the electoral process. This will be contained in a preliminary statement to be read by the head of mission, Olusegun Obasanjo, at a press conference scheduled for 26 October 2015 in the Ivorian capital.


Eight (8) out of ten (10) candidates have been confirmed by the Ivorian Constitutional Council to run for the presidential election. They include the incumbent Head of State, Alassane Ouattara, Pascal Affi N’Guessan, Charles Konan Banny and Amara Essy. The rests are Siméon Konan Kouadio, Henriette Lagou Adjoua, Mamadou Koulibaly, Kouadio Konan Bertin, Jacqueline-Claire Kouangoua and Kacou Gnangbo. Meanwhile, Amara Essy and Mamadou Koulibaly have abandoned their dream of running for the highest office of the land.


ECOWAS calls on candidates, political party leaders as well as their supporters and followers to ensure that the election takes place in peace, tranquility, serenity and national cohesion.

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