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UN elections official faces dismissal after harassment probe

[JURIST] An anonymous UN official has said that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official biography] Monday plans to announce the firing of Carina Perelli, chief of the UN's Electoral Assistance Division [official website] which organizes and promotes free elections in countries around the world. Perelli was formally accused [JURIST report] by UN investigators in August for harassing her staff and promoting an abusive and sexually offensive environment. She has been generally praised for her efforts in organizing elections in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Palestinian territories, but her staff claimed [JURIST report] that "sexual innuendo is part of the 'fabric'" in her office and the investigative report cites emotional suffering by staff members as a result of Perelli's behavior. Perelli said Saturday that she had not received formal notice of her dismissal. She will be able to appeal her termination first to the UN Joint Disciplinary Committee, and then to the Administrative Tribunal [UN backgrounder], which will make a final, binding decision. AP has more.

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