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Former Ivory Coast Leader Bédié to Run for President

By Anne Look
04 September 2009

Former Ivorian leader Henri Konan Bédié says he will run in the country's presidential elections scheduled for November.

Former Ivorian President Henri Konan Bédié is one of two candidates now officially registered for the country's long-delayed presidential elections, though others have expressed their intention to run.

The vote, now slated for November 29, is an attempt to find a lasting political solution to nearly a decade of internal conflict in the once stable West African nation.

Bédiéé was ousted in a military coup in December of 1999. He was then barred from running in the 2000 elections in which he would have opposed coup leader Robert Guei and current President Laurent Gbagbo.

Civil war cut the nation in half in 2002, after rebels attempting to overthrow President Gbagbo took control of the northern part of the country. The country has since missed deadlines for presidential elections set by the peace accords of 2007 and late 2008.

Campaign director, Djédjé Madi, filed Bédié's papers at the Independent Electoral Commission.

Madi says they are registering for this election with the intent to always proceed in a positive manner so that Cote d'Ivoire can return to peace and stability, rebuild with the confidence of those both inside and outside the country and resume its path toward development.

He says the commission can count on Bédié and his National Democratic Party of Cote d'Ivoire to abide by the conditions set forth and work each day towards bringing the country out of this difficult period.

Cote d'Ivoire has already postponed the election several times since current President Gbagbo's mandate ran out in October 2005 because of voter registration issues.

Auguste Miremont is the spokesman for the Independent Election Commission.

Miremont says the registration of presidential candidates shows the country that, despite the delays, things are moving forward towards the ultimate goal shared by all: the elections.

Miremont said that 70 percent of the commission's centers have finished processing voter data and the publication of the electoral list, originally scheduled for late August, is now planned for between the 12 and 15 of September.

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