Ivory Coast schedules 2000 Elections

Special to USAfrica The Newspaper and USAfricaonline.com

"Ivory Coast promises to put in place the foundations of a real and solid democracy based on the respect of the state and the law and the free expression of its citizens." This promising and commended statement was released on Monday January 24, by the country's military ruler, Gen. Robert Guei. It was signed by Albert Aggrey, secretary-general of the interim ruling government. It added that "the general elections should be finished by 1 October 2000" in the French-speaking, west African country.

Also, Gen. Guei has met with members of a constitution drafting and election laws commission. Guei's regime said that "Ivory Coast has to reconcile with itself as it did in the years following its independence, banishing xenophobia ... fighting corruption ... thus beginning a new era in its history." the statement said. Guei December 24, 1999 coup was the first coup in Ivory Coast's history.

Meanhwile, opposition leader Alassane Ouattara has started his campaign tour of mainly the northern section of the country. He had been tackled and disqualified by the democratically-elected (now toppled) govrnment of Henri Konan Bedie from running for the elections planned before the December 24, 1999 coup election altered the country's political landscape. Guei did not indicate whether he intends to vie for the presidency in the elections. A number of the neighboring presidents in west Africa set that precedent.

The bloody stain of military coup, on Friday December 24, 1999, sullied the once unique history of democratic rule in the beautiful and historically democratic, French-speaking west African country of Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) by General Robert Guei (inset).
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