SI Presidium addresses situation in Côte d'Ivoire

19 March 2011

The situation in Côte d’Ivoire, a matter of grave international concern, was discussed in depth by the leadership of the Socialist International at a meeting of its Presidium in Athens. Participants recalled the statement of the International made last December, which called for outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo to cede power, respecting the electoral results announced by the Independent Electoral Commission of Côte d’Ivoire on 2 December, and endorsed by ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations. The subsequent failure of Laurent Gbagbo and the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) to adhere to these calls and the ensuing increase in gross violations of human rights and the threats to peace and stability were the grounds for the decision to exclude that party from the activities of the SI and suspend its membership in the organisation, to be followed by an examination of this situation by the collective leadership of the International in this meeting. The discussions drew on contacts made by the International on this grave crisis with member parties, heads of government involved in the process of resolution of the post-electoral conflict, the sub-regional organisation and African Union, Human Rights groups, UN officials and the FPI itself.

Deeply mindful of the grave violations of human rights that have occurred in Côte d’Ivoire and the fact of the party’s ongoing failure to respect the democratically expressed will of the people, in direct contradiction to the principles set out in the Ethical Charter of the SI, the members of the Presidium agreed on the expulsion of the FPI from the Socialist International. The next Council meeting of the organisation will be informed of this decision. The status of the party had equally been addressed at an earlier meeting of the SI Ethics Committee on 11 March, which recommended expulsion.

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