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Carter Center Deploys Election Observers to Côte d'Ivoire


In Atlanta, Deborah Hakes, 1 404-420-5124
In Abidjan, Sabina Vigani, +225-08-23-55-23

Abidjan...The Carter Center deployed 10 long-term observers to regions around Côte d'Ivoire this week to assess preparations for the Oct.31, 2010, presidential election.  The observers will meet with government and election authorities, political parties, civil society organizations, and domestic observer groups, as well as the United Nations and the international community. Closer to election day they will be joined by a larger group of short-term observers led by a senior political leader.

"The Carter Center has long supported peaceful, transparent, and credible elections in Côte d'Ivoire," said Dr. David Pottie, associate director of the Carter Center's Democracy Program. "We believe that the finalization of the voter register and announcement of an election date reflect a renewed political will among the parties to hold elections. However, many critical tasks remain to be accomplished for the elections to be held in the best conditions and as scheduled."

The Center encourages the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to finalize the system for result tabulation, of which there is no information available to the public. Bearing in mind the shortcomings of previous phases of the electoral process, it is very important that the IEC pays particular attention to the training of local electoral commissions and polling station staff, as well as voter education. It is also crucial that the IEC more regularly communicate to the public the status of electoral preparations. Finally, the Center also urges the IEC to establish the necessary systems to issue individual accreditations for national and international observers.

The Carter Center is honored to have been invited by Prime Minister Guillaume Soro to observe the electoral process, and over the past two years, the Center has deployed teams to assess different phases of the national identification and voter registration processes. The Center's international observers are drawn from African, European, and Latin American countries. They are supported by an office in Abidjan, established in December 2007 and headed by Carter Center Country Director Sabina Vigani.

The Carter Center conducts its activities in a nonpartisan, professional manner in accordance with applicable national laws and international standards for election observation set forth in the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation that was adopted at the United Nations in 2005.  The Center will release periodic public statements, which will be available on its Web site:


A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.

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