Cote d'Ivoire crisis: Rawlings opts for re-election or recount

Accra, Ghana (PANA) - Ghana’s former President Jerry John Rawlings has waded into the options to bring peace to troubled Cote d'Ivoire, saying the cost of a military intervention will be far higher financially and economically than seeking a re-election or a recount.

A statement issued by Rawlings' office in Accra on Saturday said this at a dinner hosted by Kwesi Quartey, Ghana’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, in Addis Ababa, where he is attending the African Union (AU) Summit as the AU High Representative for Somalia.

The statement said Rawlings, defending his stance against a military intervention said: “If Africa wants to reject coup d’états, then we must replace it with an electoral process that has integrity.

“If we replace coups with an electoral process that lacks integrity, then people will be asking what is the difference between this and a coup.”

The former president said he believed a re-evaluation of the vote in Cote d'Ivoire as suggested by South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni would be setting a precedent which would affect some of the questionable leaders on the continent.

Rawlings said it was important a re-evaluation took place in Cote d'Ivoire, so in future, some leaders on the continent who had the coercive power of the state did not rig elections and impose the results on the people, as the aggrieved electorate could seek a re-evaluation with the precedent that had been established.

He criticised the growing trend where certain world powers had made it "a dangerous trend" of pronouncing that one leader had stayed in power for too long, so every effort would be made to pronounce that leader a loser, even if he won.

Touching on Somalia, Rawlings said he agreed to take up the role because the crisis affected the entire continent.

“The crisis has taken a life of its own and cannot be contained in Somalia, spreading internationally through piracy. It is going to be a difficult task and I am not going to be presumptuous and state that I have the solution. I have a whole learning process to go through. I hope the various factions will find me accommodating enough to work with me,” he said.
-0- PANA MA/BOS 29Jan2011

29 january 2011 13:53:03




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