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January 31, 2012

Ivorian Opposition Welcomes Court Election Ruling

by James Butty

Deisire Boussi, spokesman for Gbagbo’s party, says the court annulment proves there is no true democracy in Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast’s high court has overturned the election of 11 members of parliament from President Alassane Ouattara’s party following last December’s parliamentary election.

A total of 110 complaints were brought against 66 candidates for violations including the use soldiers to campaign.  The court upheld the election of 55 other candidates.

Deisire Boussi, the chief spokesman for former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo’s Ivorian Popular Front party, which boycotted the December ballot, said the court’s decision proves there is no true democracy in Ivory Coast under Ouattara.

“We still believe that there is no democracy in Cote d’Ivoire and, in so doing, they have to take a fresh election that is of no interest to Ivorians,” he said.

Boussi said for a while the opposition has been telling Ivorians and the international community that the army and militias loyal to Ouattara were having a negative effect on democracy building.

“What we have to tell you is that, before these elections, we used to tell everybody that we are not going to face the military or militia intervention in democracy or in politics.  This is our position,” Boussi said.

He said the December election was a sham intended only to give Ouattara’s Rally of Republican (RDR) party control of the national legislature.

“There has not been any election in Cote d’Ivoire.  What had been in Cote d’Ivoire is what Mr. Ouattara has wanted his followers, or his fellow members, or his party to win all seats,” he said.

Gbagbo’s Ivorian Popular Front party boycotted the December election, and Boussi said the party intends to again boycott the by-elections to be held in the constituencies where the elected members were disqualified.

“When we refused to eat elephant meat, don’t tell us to eat the bones.  We are not ready to take part in any election, as we are not concerned at all. We are not going to take part,” Boussi said.