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Annan Says Ivory Coast Leaders Have One Last Chance to Hold Vote


U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says Ivory Coast leaders should be given one last chance to hold elections but that the international community should step in if they fail to do so.

In a report to the U.N. Security Council circulated Wednesday, Mr. Annan strongly criticized Ivorian political leaders, blaming them for the second delay of elections in a year. The top U.N. elections supervisor in Ivory Coast has said voting will be postponed until October 2007.

Mr. Annan said if no vote takes place next year, the United Nations and African leaders should consider installing a transitional government comprising "eminent, non-partisan personalities from civil society."

The long-awaited vote is seen as key to cementing a fragile peace in the west African country.

Ivory Coast has been divided between government forces in the south and rebels in the north since fighting broke out in 2002.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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