The Secretary-General’s Special Representative Y. J. Choi toured identification and voter registration centres in the capital Abidjan at the weekend, noting that computer availability was one of the problems undermining the otherwise “solid advances” achieved so far ahead of the elections. Mr. Choi said he was confident that the voting centres would be fully operational for the polls, a UN spokesperson told journalists today in New York.The elections are slated to take place on 30 November in Côte d’Ivoire, which became divided in 2002 between the Government-controlled south and the rebel-held north before a peace deal struck early last year reconciled the groups. Identification of Ivorians, and thus determining their eligibility for voting, has been one of the key points of contention in the country in recent years.On Sunday, Mr. Choi also visited the western region of Moyen Cavallay to check on progress made in implementing projects financed by the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) to benefit the general population.“I am proud of the work that is being accomplished by the Moroccan military engineering unit which, through this work, marks a visible presence of the UN in Côte d’Ivoire,” he said while touring a primary school rehabilitation project in the town of Lokosso.Earlier Mr. Choi had met with 15 former militia members, including six women, who will benefit from UNOCI micro-projects, such as the construction of a storage depot that will hold a rice-shelling machine and a mill, which will provide jobs to help them reintegrate to society. 13 October 2008Preparations for voting in Côte d’Ivoire’s presidential elections – now just six weeks away – are progressing well, even though some logistical hitches persist, the top United Nations official to the West African country said today.
The High Commissioner of Pakistan, Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat met Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya today.During the meetings, the current political situation in Sri Lanka was discussed. The High Commissioner reiterated Pakistan’s support for continuation and consolidation of democratic process in Sri Lanka.He expressed the hope that the ongoing political situation will be overcome peacefully and amicably in accordance with the constitution and aspirations of Sri Lankan people. (Colombo Gazette)