2010 - Chaotic year in Côte d'Ivoire with two presidents

Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire (PANA)
– Ivorians had hoped that the holding of the presidential election after several postponements would put an end to a decade of political instability.

However, they are disappointed that the proclamation of the 28 November election results has created a political deadlock, with the two candidates in the second round taking the oath as President of the same country.

The Ivorian population, infuriated and extenuated financially, psychologically and materially by the 19 September 2002 military and political crisis, went to the polls in huge numbers with a historic turnout of 83 per cent during the first round of voting on 31 October.

The second round between two leading candidates, namely Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent, and Alassane Ouattara, the opposition candidate, also recorded a fairly high turnout of 81 per cent, according to figures published by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and United Nations certification.

But the controversial proclamation of the results has broken the hearts of the people. While the IEC declared Ouattara as the winner by crediting him with 54 per cent of votes, the Constitutional council, after having annulled the results of several departments in the Ouattara heartland, gave Gbagbo victory with 51 per cent.

Ivorians thus find themselves torn between two executives - Laurent Gbagbo still holding the levers of power, and Ouattara holed up in a hotel in Abidjan despite being unanimously recognized by the international community.

The pressing calls of the international community urging Laurent Gbagbo to leave power seem to bump into his intransigence. And the risks of a general conflagration are perceptible with threats of military intervention by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and civil war proffered by the Laurent Gbagbo camp.

The latter’s supporters have planed to organize a demonstration to go and dislodge Ouattara, "with naked hands" from Hôtel du Golf, where he is staying, as early 2 January 2011.
-0- PANA BAL/TBM/SOC /PAP/MA 30Dec2010

30 december 2010 22:47:41

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