Source: UN Human Rights Committee
Communication No 940/2000: Côte d’Ivoire. Views adopted 26/07/2002
The facts as presented by the author
2.1 The author alleges that he is unable to participate in the presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire, in this case the election scheduled for 17 September 2000, either as a voter or as a candidate, as a result of the new provisions of article 35 of the Constitution and of the Electoral Code.
2.2 The author explains that, by Decree No. 200-497 of 17 July 2000 amending the draft Constitution, the head of State, General Robert Guei, revised article 35, paragraph 3, of the Constitution relating to conditions for election to the post of President of the Republic, in the following terms: “He must be of Ivorian origin, born of a father and mother who themselves are of Ivorian origin. He must never have renounced Ivorian nationality.” These eligibility criteria were also included in articles 53 and 54 of the draft Electoral Code. Finally, they were approved by a referendum held on 23 July 2000, which led to the adoption of the draft amendment to the Constitution and draft Electoral Code.
2.3 The author states that the Constitution and the Electoral Code were amended in the context of the political situation in Côte d’Ivoire, namely the deposition of the former President of the Republic by the military junta currently in power and responsible for organizing the next presidential election.
2.4 Owing to the new provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Code, the author claims to have been deprived, first of all, of his right to vote for the candidate of his choice, who would not be able to stand in the presidential election because he did not meet the criteria relating to national origin and nationality. Moreover, the author draws attention to his dual nationality – Ivorian and French – and alleges that, owing to the eligibility criteria relating to non‑renunciation of Ivorian nationality, which in his view imply that no other nationality has been claimed, he is unable, contrary to his wishes, to stand in the presidential election.
Issues and proceedings before the Committee
6.1 Before considering any claim contained in a communication, the Human Rights Committee must decide, in accordance with rule 87 of its rules of procedure, whether the claim is admissible under the Optional Protocol to the Covenant.
6.2 As required under article 5, paragraph 2 (a), of the Optional Protocol, the Committee has ascertained that the same matter is not being examined under another procedure of international investigation or settlement.
6.3 The Committee notes that the author has produced no arguments relating to any efforts he has made to claim his rights, either as a voter or as a candidate in the presidential election. Under the circumstances, the Committee considers that the author has not demonstrated that he is a victim of a violation of the Covenant and that the communication is therefore inadmissible under article 1 of the Optional Protocol.
6.4 In the circumstances, it is unnecessary for the Committee to consider the other arguments put forward by the State party concerning admissibility.
7. The Committee therefore decides:
(a) That the communication is inadmissible under article 1 of the Optional Protocol;
(b) That this decision shall be communicated to the State party and to the author.