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Vol 46 No 14

Published 8th July 2005

Côte d'Ivoire

Peace postponed

As the disarmament and election timetables slip, the country is crumbling

Another crisis, another timetable for peace. Disarmament must now get underway by the end of this month. The mediators are reluctant to admit that elections cannot be held on 30 October as scheduled but that's what most senior diplomats and United Nations' officials now believe. This brings President Laurent Gbagbo's legitimacy into dispute as his five-year mandate will have expired by 30 October. Gbagbo's supporters say that if elections cannot be held, he can stay in power as long as necessary. His opponents say once his term expires, there will be a power vacuum. Either way, he may lose the veneer of legitimacy conferred by 2000's flawed election.

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