Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-11-16-Speech-4-142"

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"Mr President, has peace really returned to Côte d’Ivoire or does it only seem that way? Gbagbo has provisionally been recognised as president on the basis of elections from which his most important opponent was excluded. If the parliamentary elections in December do not proceed in a fair manner then the unrest will undoubtedly flare up again. After all, the violence of recent times has left the people with deep scars. If there is even the slightest political lapse their anger will take hold again. It is therefore absolutely essential that the parliamentary elections due to take place in December, proceed fairly, and needless to say, exclusion for reasons of ethnicity is absolutely out of the question. Côte d’Ivoire will only be able to regain its stability if the new rulers are prepared to engage in power-sharing. It is also impossible to envisage lasting peace in the country without religious and ethnic tolerance. The political, military and religious leaders must pull out all the stops to make national reconciliation possible. What is needed is a constitution which guarantees the rights of the citizens and the political parties and rules out abuse of power. It is also vital for relations with the neighbouring countries, especially Burkina Faso, to be restored. We as a European Union, must be prepared to continue to provide assistance, but this will only be possible if the country is run properly and democratisation really takes shape. The leaders have now been given a new chance and let us hope they seize it. Côte d’Ivoire could become a role model and take the lead in the region. But this will only be feasible if everyone takes responsibility and peace is restored for good."@en1

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