December 3, 2010 / 5:53 PM / in 7 years

Security Council to back Ouattara win in Ivory Coast

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council plan on Friday to endorse Ivory Coast’s provisional election results that declared opposition presidential candidate Alassane Ouattara as victor.

Several U.N. diplomats told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the 15-nation council and Ban planned to issue statements later echoing statements of U.N. special envoy Young-jin Choi, who told reporters in Ivory Coast that the true results show Ouattara won the election.

Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo has disputed the Independent Electoral Commission’s provisional results, which were overturned by the Constitutional Council earlier on Friday.

The highly unusual move by the United Nations to side with Ouattara is in line with Choi’s mandate as Ban’s special envoy to Ivory Coast, who has the authority to certify elections, a U.N. official said.

“The Security Council and the SG (secretary-general) plan to echo Choi’s views before the end of the day,” a council diplomat told Reuters.

Diplomats said it was unclear how Gbagbo would react to the fact that the United Nations was lining up against him.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said that international peacekeepers have increased patrols in the world’s top cocoa producer.

“It’s tense but there have been no major security incidents or concerns today,” he told reporters.

Reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Jackie Frank

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