11 Nov 2008

Ivory Coast leaders postpone election

9:05 am on 11 November 2008

Political leaders on the Ivory Coast have postponed a post-war presidential election planned for 30 November. Electoral officials were asked on Monday to set a new date.

They were given a deadline of 31 December to do so. Diplomats say it is now unlikely to happen before mid-2009.

Preparations for the poll are well behind schedule and the announcement of a further postponement had been widely expected.

Analysts said last week barely 400,000 out of an estimated 9 million potential voters had been registered.

Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore met members of a permanent consultation committee on Monday in Ouagadougou.

They include Ivory Coast's President Laurent Gbagbo, former rebel leader Guillaume Soro, who is now prime minister, former President Henri Konan Bedie and northern opposition leader Alassane Ouattara.

The presidential election was originally meant to happen in October 2005, after a civil war in 2002-03.