ABIDJAN (AFP) — Ivory Coast's Prime Minister Guillaume Soro said Wednesday that the presidential election due to take place at the end of November could be delayed so electoral rolls could be updated.
"Yesterday we asked the CEI (independent electoral commission) to work out a reliable time-frame to give us an idea of a probable definitive date for the election," he told reporters.
The time-frame which would lay down how long each stage should take in the run-up to the poll "will give us a lot of landmarks in relation to the publication of the electoral rolls," he said.
Earlier this month a source close to the CEI said the long-awaited presidential elections were likely to be delayed until next year.
The reason was said to be the slow pace of the process of getting identity papers to all eligible voters, which kicked off September 15.
"Everybody knows the vote will be postponed. The president (Laurent Gbagbo) already spoke of delaying them until December 15 but that date is a Monday and (the Sunday) after that will be too close to the holidays at the end of the year," the source, who did not want to be named, told AFP.
"I have already suggested to the facilitator (of the solution to the Ivorian crisis, Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore) that the list and the fixing of the date should be the object of a wide consensus of those involved," said Soro.
"There will be wide consultations so there can be agreement about the date," Soro, a former leader of the rebel New Forces (FN) movement, said.
"We are determined to go to elections as fast as possible. I would like to reassure everyone," said Soro, who became prime minister after a March 2007 agreement between the rebels and Gbagbo.
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