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Brussels, 2 November 2010

Statement by High Representative / Vice-president Mrs Catherine Ashton on the Côte d’Ivoire elections

Today Mrs Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, issued the following statement:

'I am delighted at the very great sense of responsibility which the Côte d'Ivoire electorate has shown in turning up in such large numbers to vote peacefully in the first round of the presidential elections.

These elections represent a fundamental step towards finding a way out of the crisis and an important basis for consolidating democracy in the Côte d'Ivoire.

The European Union is following very carefully the ongoing electoral cycle in the Côte d’Ivoire for which it has from the start provided technical and financial support to the tune of €40 million.

In the framework of its firm commitment to supporting the holding of these elections, the European Union has also deployed an Independent Election Observation Mission, led by Member of the European Parliament Cristian Preda, who has made important recommendations for improving the way the next elections are conducted.

I call on the candidates, the authorities and the Independent Election Mission to demonstrate responsibility, to guarantee the transparency of the electoral process and to respect the wishes expressed by the Côte d'Ivoire electorate.

I also call on the Constitutional Court to do everything possible to ensure that the definitive results of the election are made known as quickly as possible in full compliance with the procedures for settling disputes.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the committed and determined action taken by Mediator Blaise Compaore throughout the election procedure.'

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