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Carter Center Featured Partner: International Election Observation Mission in Cote D'Ivoire

Featured May 2011

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In Cote D'Ivoire, the now President Alassane Ouattara faces the immediate challenge of addressing the aftermath of a contentious and violent post-election environment. After months of refusing requests by the international community to relinquish his office, former President Laurent Gbagbo was forced to comply with the results of the November 2010 run-off election where Ivoirians elected Ouattara president, as announced by the Independent Electoral Commission. The observation mission conducted by the Carter Center found that this historic election met international standards, giving validation to the results of the electoral process.

On invitation from Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, The Carter Center began the election observation mission in Cote D'Ivoire in late 2008. After many delays leading eventually to a run-off election in November 2010, The Carter Center deployed ten long-term observers throughout the country in October 2010 to assess election preparations. For Election Day, the Center deployed a delegation of 50 observers to observe voting and counting. After assessment of the election process against the Constitution, electoral law, and other regional and international commitments, The Carter Center concluded that there was no evidence of systematic irregularities that would have a significant impact on the results of the election. The Carter Center additionally noted that the Constitutional Commission's annulment of partial results was legally unfounded.

In the unrest that followed the election, The Carter Center continued to monitor events in Cote D'Ivoire. The Carter Center released statements supporting the Independent Electoral Commission's fulfillment of its obligations to announce and accept the election results, and urged the Constitutional Commission to do so as well. The Carter Center further encouraged political leaders to assist in a peaceful transition. Following continued violence and discord, The Carter Center joined the international community in its support of the integrity of the electoral process. Ultimately, the election of President Ouattara has been accepted in accordance with the Ivoirian people's decision in November.

The Carter Center's assessment of the November 2010 election in Cote D'Ivoire affirms the importance of observation of the democratic system, which was found essential in this especially controversial and historic case. The international election observation mission to Cote D'Ivoire would not have been possible without the generous support of our partners:

  • British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
    Supporting elections and electoral processes is central to the UK FCO's work to advance democracy.
    This support is provided at all stages of the electoral process, specific to the needs of the country concerned, and can include working with election commissions, supporting voter registration and electoral reform, and working with the media.
  • Irish Aid
    Irish Aid monies have enabled the Center to observe elections all over the world, including Liberia, Guinea and Indonesia, in addition to Cote d'Ivoire; promote international democratic elections standards; and ultimately ensure elections are free and fair through election observation and the establishment of international elections standards.
  • U.K. Department for International Development (DFID)
    The United Kingdom has also proved central to Carter Center election monitoring, being one of the most generous donors to our elections work for several years. DFID's generous financial support of the Carter Center's work reflects its longstanding dedication to international peace, human rights, and democracy.
  • U.S. Embassy
    The American Embassy is composed of various sections that work to improve political, economic, and cultural relations between Cote d'Ivoire and the United States. In particular, the Embassy provided support to the Center, through a partnership that strived to assess a process where free and fair elections with active political participation by diverse elements of society was respected.
  • U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (U.S.-DRL)
    The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) is committed to supporting and promoting democracy programs throughout the world. As the nation's primary democracy advocate, DRL is responsible for overseeing the Human Rights and Democracy Fund (HRDF), which was established in 1998 to address human rights and democratization emergencies. DRL uses resources from the HRDF, as well as those allocated to Regional Democracy Funds, to support democratization programs such as election monitoring and parliamentary development.

Featured donor and supported programs:
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Foreign Commonwealth Office >

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