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Cote d’Ivoire’s opposition parties fault govt on election commission

A coalition of opposition political parties in Cote d’Ivoire has faulted measures taken by the government in reconstituting the country’s Independent Electoral Commission.

The group, ‘Alliance of Democratic Forces in Cote d’Ivoire’, in a statement in Abidjan on Wednesday, accused the government of hidden agenda in the reconstitution of the election body.

The statement quotes the group’s Chairman of the Ivorian Labour party, Daniel Ahizi, as accusing the government of not consulting the opposition before taking the decision.

The group alleged that government unilaterally took the decision and gave more nominations to the president and some ministries.

“The government is clearly playing politics with this matter; we are not satisfied with the proposal, it will give government nominees the upper hand in terms of decision making.

“What we need in this country is an election body that will represent the people, a body that will be truly independent,” the statement said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the government recently announced its decision to reconstitute the election body.

The government in the decision reduced the membership of the body from 31 to 13 persons to be nominated by government, opposition parties, civil society groups, religious groups and the judiciary.

In a related development, the Civil Society Coalition for Electoral Reform has described the proposal for reconstitution of the independent electoral commission as “political”.

The group said in a statement on Wednesday that the civil society would be under-represented under the current proposal adopted by the government.

“Given the composition of the election body as proposed by the government, it will be difficult to have true independence.

“The proposal contradicts the need for expertise and control of electoral processes, civil society players with proven expertise in electoral processes need to be given more opportunities,” it said.

NAN reports that the success of Cote d’Ivoire’s 2015 presidential election has become a subject dominating political discussions in the country in recent times.

Some citizens of the country are calling on political actors to take every necessary step to avoid a repeat of the 2010 and 2011 electoral violence that rocked the country.

Analysts say a sincere reconciliation process and a free and truly independent electoral commission were crucial in achieving credible elections in 2015.

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