(AFP) – Aug 19, 2008
ABIDJAN (AFP) — The process by which eligible voters are identified in Ivory Coast ahead of November presidential elections is again being extended, the country's justice ministry said Tuesday.
"Fifty teams... will be deployed from 27 August to 12 September," a statement said.
The authorities stressed that the teams, made up of court officials who can issue court judgments to establish an individual's identity, will be sent to locations "that were not taken into account or not sufficiently taken into account during the previous operation" when 660,000 people were issued identity papers in May.
Voter identification was an important issue in the peace deal signed in March 2007 between President Laurent Gbagbo and former rebel leader Guillaume Soro, now the country's prime minister.
The parties agreed on a voter identification process to issue digital identity cards to all eligible voters among the country's 19 million population.
Throughout the last decade, plagued by various conflicts, the state had not issued any identity cards.
Armed with the court judgements, Ivorians can register on electoral lists and get voter cards and new identification papers.
The operation has been repeatedly extended and officials have complained that they do not have the financial and logistical means enabling the 111 teams of judges to cover the country properly.
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