ABIDJAN, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Cote d'Ivoire's government has decided to suspend "to a later date" the judicial process over the vote list dispute, which many fear would jeopardize the planned presidential elections set for late February and early March.
"The judicial process which is ongoing before court authorities has been suspended until further notice in the entire national territory beginning February 10, 2010," the government's secretary general Felix Tieoulou-Dyela announced in a communique on state television.
According to the communique, the decision was taken after "consultations" between Prime Minister Guillaume Soro and President Laurent Gbagbo considering the "tense situation that has been created for some days now around the process of validating the provisional electoral list."
Protests broke out in various parts of the country following a decision by some supporters of Gbagbo to file legal cases with court for the removal of some people from the voter list.
The opposition called out their supporters to protest against the "false allegations." The protest marches resulted into riots causing serious injuries, destruction and fire to burn down public buildings.
The suspension of the judicial process is expected to pave the way for the preparation of the final electoral list ahead of the planned polls.
A total of 1.03 milliom people need to validate their registration on the provisional electoral list, which already has 5.3 million lvorians.
On the same day, the opposition Democratic Party of Cote d'lvoire (PDCI) pleaded for the respect of the procedure of handling electoral contentions to allow the continuation of the electoral process.
"The procedure for resolving disputes over the electoral list should be done in conformity to the operation mode which requires that one brings proof to support his contesting," the party's secretary general Alphonse Djedje Mady declared at the end of a meeting with the United Nations secretary general special representative to Cote d'lvoire, Choi Young-jin.
"We are in agreement with the special representative that the procedure should be followed in order to remain focused on the most important things and to ensure that before the end of March, Ivorians could go into elections," he said.
"All those who want to contest against any name they find on the list should bring evidence as proof for their dispute," he added.