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Cte dIvoire: UN envoy lauds new premier and parliament president

14 March 2012 – The head of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Côte d’Ivoire today congratulated the country’s new Prime Minister and the newly-elected president of parliament and assured them of the mission’s continued support.

Jeannot Ahoussou Kouadio was yesterday appointed the country’s new Prime Minister, while the National Assembly on Monday elected his predecessor, Guillaume Soro, as the new president of parliament.

Bert Koenders, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), said he was convinced that under Mr. Soro’s leadership, the National Assembly would be a place of democratic debate.

In his letter to Mr. Kouadio, the UN envoy highlighted the multiple priorities for Côte d’Ivoire, including security, social cohesion, national reconciliation and economic recovery.

The country is recovering from months of deadly fighting that ensued after former president Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down after losing a run-off election to Alassane Ouattara in late 2010. Mr. Gbagbo was eventually captured last year and is now facing trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Elections for the 225-member National Assembly were held last December. By-elections were organised last month following a decision by the Constitutional Council to annul the results of the legislative elections in certain constituencies affected by irregularities.

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