Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Sunday reiterated
its backing for opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara as the duly elected President of Cote d'Ivoire, and
rejected any possible formation of a coalition government as a way out of the electoral impasse in the country.
Speculations are rife that incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, who lost to Ouattara in the 28 Nov. runoff result announced
by the electoral commission, is holding out for the formation of a Kenyan and Zimbabwean type of coalition government in
Cote d'Ivoire, as a way to resolve the crisis.
But ECOWAS spokesman Sunny Ugoh said power sharing was out of the question, going by the decision of West African
leaders at their extra-ordinary summit in Abuja, Nigeria, Tuesday.
''The Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of the Heads of State and Government clarified after the Abuja summit that they
are not in favour of any government of national unity,'' Ugoh told PANA. ''There is no ambiguity in that statement.''
He also said there was no doubt that the West African leaders are supporting Ouattara as the country's president-elect.
''The Heads of State and Government, in their collective wisdom and in the spirit of promoting democracy, transparency and ensuring
that the voice of the people - as expressed through the ballot box - is heard took a decision that they are comfortable with the results
(of the run-off) as announced by the Electoral Commission,'' Ugoh said
Both Gbagbo and Ouattara are laying claim to the presidency of the cocoa-rich West African nation.
While the electoral commission announced the opposition candidate and former Prime Minister as winner of the run-off, the
Constitutional Council overturned the result and gave victory to Gbagbo, precipitating the impasse.
Analysts have expressed the fear that failure to quickly resolve the budding crisis could return the West African nation to the 2002 situation,
when a failed mutiny by a section of the military split the country into two.
-0- PANA SEG 12Dec2010