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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement


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Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman
October 7, 2000

Elections in Cote D'Ivoire

The United States condemns the decision by the Supreme Court of Cote d'Ivoire to exclude 14 of 19 candidates in that country's upcoming presidential elections. This unjust decision robs the Ivorian people of any meaningful choice in those elections. It also excludes large segments of Ivorian society from representation and participation in political processes to choose their country's leadership. The ineligibility of so many candidates, including the leaders of the primary opposition parties, makes a mockery of basic democratic principles.

We deeply regret that General Guei and his junta have chosen to reject the course of open and inclusive elections. As a consequence, the United States will suspend its assistance to election preparation in Cote d'Ivoire. The Guei regime's continuing abuse of authority, its undisguised manipulation of the electoral process, and its repression of peaceful opposition political activity make it impossible for the U.S. to continue such assistance. We call upon other donor nations also to re-examine their electoral assistance to Cote d'Ivoire in light of these circumstances.

The United States again admonishes the Guei administration to cease intimidation and violence directed at its political opponents, uphold the rule of law, and move to create conditions for a speedy return to democracy in Cote d'Ivoire.

[end of document]

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