Ivory Coast Opposition Makes Demands Before Joining Gov.

Opposition groups in the Ivory Coast have said they will not join Prime Minister Guillaume Soro's newly formed government until the country's electoral commission is reinstated.

"We are waiting for the new independent electoral commission (CEI) to be put in place first, then certainly we will join the government, but not before," Ali Coulibaly, a spokesman for the Rally of the Republicans (RDR), who claimed also to speak on behalf of the Democratic Party (PDCI), told Aljazeera.

"For us, the priority is not the government but the CEI," he added.

The CEI was debunked with the rest of the government on Feb. 12 by President Laurent Gbagbo, who had accused the commission of fraudulently adding 400,000 names to the voter list.

The responsibility of forming a new government was given to Soro, who announced on Tuesday that a new 28-member cabinet would be formed, with 11 positions open for opposition members.

The other 17 slots were filled by members of the New Forces (FN) and President Laurent Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front (FPI).

Once completed, the government is expected to administer elections in the country, which have been delayed since Gbagbo's term officially ended in 2005.

The elections are currently scheduled for "late April, early May," according to officials.

Meanwhile, protests over the political turmoil have turned increasingly violent, with at least seven people reported dead.

U.N. Special Representative for the Ivory Coast Y. J. Choi has called for end to the chaos and is pushing the government to stay on track with its plans for elections.

Opposition groups have said that they will continue protests until their demands are met.

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