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African Union to Discuss Election Dispute

Published on Tuesday 7th December 2010 African Union to Discuss Election Dispute

An extraordinary session of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC) in Addis Ababa is expected to deliberate on Cote d'Ivoire's election dispute.

On Saturday, two men laid claim to Cote d'Ivoire's highest post. Incumbent Laurent Gbagbo was sworn in as the new president in a formal ceremony inside the presidential palace. Less than an hour and a half later, his rival, Alassane Ouattara, told reporters that he, too, had taken the oath of office.

Cote d'Ivoire's incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo was sworn in as president on Saturday, amid defiance from his rival, former prime minister Alassane Ouattara whose victory was supported by the electoral commission and the international community, but rejected by the Constitutional Council.

President of the Constitutional Council Paul Yao N'Dre announced at the ceremony that Gbagbo won the presidential run-off with 51.45 percent of the vote.

The Constitutional Council said earlier that the provisional results announced by the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) giving victory to Ouattara on Thursday was invalid.

On Thursday, president of the CEI Youssouf Bakayoko said Ouattara won the election with 54.1 percent of the tally, against 45.9 percent for Gbagbo.

The South African Government has noted the pronouncements of the Electoral Commission and the Constitutional Council on the outcomes of the election in Ivory Coast and continues to monitor developments as they unfold in that country.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation said South Africa has welcomed the urgent convening of the extraordinary session of the AU-PSC in Addis Ababa to deliberate on this matter.

"South Africa will take into consideration the outcome of the discussions of the AU PSC and other factors before pronouncing its position," the department said.

Meanwhile, former President Thabo Mbeki has been requested by the Chairperson of the AU, Jean Ping, to travel to Cote d'Ivoire to assist the Ivorian parties to resolve the dispute over the results of the presidential elections of 28 November.

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