Jackson urges fair Ivory Coast election

Aug. 13, 2009 at 2:55 PM
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YAMOUSSOUKRO, Ivory Coast, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson says a positive election outcome in Ivory Coast could help bring an end to U.N. sanctions against the West African nation.

The U.S. civil rights activist, who is visiting Ivory Coast, officially known as the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire, at the behest of Young Patriots Leader Charles Ble Goude, said the three expected presidential candidates in the upcoming election all offer hope for a "decisive election," Radio France Internationale reported Thursday.

"Having met with all of the three different forces who will be running for president I'm convinced that all of them look forward to Nov. 29 as a decisive election," Jackson said.

The civil rights activist used his three-day visit to meet with President Laurent Gbagbo, along with former presidents Henri Konan Bedie and Alassane Ouattara. Bedie and Ouattara are expected to run.

Jackson told Radio France Internationale that whatever happens in November's election, all candidates should remained dignified to help ensure the possible end to U.N. sanctions on Ivory Coast. Sanctions have been imposed by the United Nations to punish those accused of derailing peace efforts in Ivory Coast.

"The winner must win with grace and the two that lose must do so with dignity," Jackson said.

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