One contest two winners, a sign of trouble in Ivory Coast

The presidential election has been over for some weeks now, yet the people of Ivory Coast are still uncertain as to who really won or lose at the run-off election, 28 November 2010.

Laurent Gbagbo who is said to be one of the winners of the election is the Ivorian current president with the power of incumbent under his control. His rival, Alassane Ouattara is an ex-prime minister and a respected economist who equally has great supporters, especially from the north of the country. As these two heavy weights claim to be the chosen one and are fighting their ways into the government house, the ordinary Ivorian are simply as the usual, “the human victims” who must hide their heads or loose them at the crossfire.

“The Police were out in force in Abidjan on Friday as supporters of the internationally recognized winner of Ivory Coast’s presidential election vowed to try once again to seize state institutions after a similar attempt the day before resulted in up to 30 deaths,” the Associated Press reported of the mounting tension in Ivory Coast, some hours ago.

Yesterday, the United States joined its voice with France and many African powers in pressuring the Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo, to step down for his opponent who was first declared winner of the November run-off election by the Ivorian electoral commission. That decision was, however overturned by the constitutional council, after invalidating some half-million votes from Ouattara strongholds.

One of the things that really heated up the political climate is that decision, some feel cheated and the consequences are highly challenging.

“We want to see him make the decision (to step down) and we’ve made clear to him that he has a finite amount of time to make that decision,” Reuters reported, yesterday, of an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Having be ravaged by civil war, Ivory Coast, a one time stable West African country has since the end of the war, remained a shadow of its past. The peaceful country has been rifted into south and north, with distrust and fear growing to represent a deep threat.

It was the hope of many people that after the November election that the coca-rich African nation can once again unite the effort of its citizens to rebuild itself. Now, with the post election violence and the uncertainties in the air, that hope is almost in shamble.

“Once-gleaming downtown Abidjan, a magnet for immigrants from all over West Africa in the days when people spoke of the Ivorian “miracle,” has become a forest of darkened high-rise windows. Investors have pulled out; jobs have vanished. More than four million young men are unemployed in a nation of some 21 million people, according to the World Bank,” the New York Times, yesterday, December 16th, 2010.

The irony of democracy is here and clear. If the so-called democratic governing is about the local people then the choice and the well-being of the same people must count, so that they should not be massacred in order for them to be governed.

Ewanfoh Obehi Peter

Photos: United Nations Photo, cdn.radionetherlands.nl,

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