April 7, 2010, 5:49 pm
By David Pottie
Recent political events in Cote d’Ivoire introduced a serious disruption, hopefully temporary, of election preparations and demonstrated how easily the West African country could slide back into conflict. Elections there have been delayed several times; The Carter Center has been the only international election observation group present during the entire process and has deployed teams of observers for different phases of electoral preparations. (Read the Center’s latest report on Cote d’Ivoire, which evaluates the Center’s observation of the voter verification and appeals process in December 2009).
Click image below to watch video.
Watch the video: David Pottie, associate director of the Carter Center’s Democracy Program, explains the significance of Cote d’Ivoire’s elections.
The Carter Center established its election observation mission to Côte d’Ivoire in November 2008 and remains engaged there to shed light on the protracted conflict so that it is not overlooked, or worse, rolled back into open conflict, and to encourage the national reconciliation needed to fulfill the promise of a democratic peace.
The immediate challenges facing Cote d’Ivoire are to rebuild political trust among political parties and confidence in the electoral institutions if the country is to get back on track for holding the long-delayed elections. As in the rest of West Africa, events in one country can hold promise, or disaster, for its neighbors, such as Liberia and Sierra Leone, who both experienced devastating recent civil wars.