News / Africa

ECOWAS Dismisses Ivorian President Gbagbo Election Lawsuit

Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo, left, talks with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, an African Union envoy sent to mediate the ongoing Ivorian political standoff, following a meeting at the presidential palace in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Jan 17, 2011
Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo, left, talks with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, an African Union envoy sent to mediate the ongoing Ivorian political standoff, following a meeting at the presidential palace in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Jan 17, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
  • Sonny Ugoh, communications director of ECOWAS, spoke with Clottey

Peter Clottey

A senior official of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said embattled Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo is wasting “everybody’s” time after his administration began a legal challenge of the regional bloc’s decision to recognize former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara as winner of Ivory Coast’s presidential run-off vote.

Sonny Ugoh, communications director of ECOWAS, told VOA the sub-regional bloc stands by its decision insisting that Mr. Ouattara won the vote described by poll observers as free and fair.

“Of course, our position still remains the same. It is just the process of actualizing it that we are still working on. As far as we are concerned, and the evidence before us to the effect that Alassane Ouattara won the election and that is the basis for all the decisions that the heads of state had taken; and, that is the position of ECOWAS,” said Ugoh.

President Gbagbo’s administration is challenging ECOWAS’ decision to recognize Mr. Ouattara as winner of the November 28 vote contending that it violates the supremacy of the country’s Constitutional Council.

But, Ugoh said the regional bloc will “forcefully” defend its decision to recognize Mr. Ouattara as the legitimate winner.

Shortly after filing the lawsuit, Mohamed Lamine Faye, an attorney representing President Gbagbo’s government, told journalists that, “We are asking the court to hold that these pronouncements are illegal…If they are illegal, they are null and void. They should suspend any action in respect to these pronouncements.”

Supporters of President Gbagbo have accused the West African sub-regional bloc of contributing to the ongoing political stalemate.

“I don’t think anybody can accuse us of being reckless or irresponsible. We are a very responsible organization and we know what the requirements are and we factored those in before we took our decision. And, the decision for us is the same as the international community. I don’t want anybody to say that the international community has been irresponsible on the matter of Cote d’Ivoire,” said Ugoh.

“We have taken our responsibility seriously and we know what the law is and we have been so advised and we stand very firm on our conviction,” he said.

After the run-off election, Ivory Coast's Constitutional Council annulled nearly 10 percent of all ballots cast saying they were fraudulent. That led the council to declare Mr. Gbagbo the winner.

The sub-regional bloc is joined by the African Union, the United Nations and most nations recognize Mr. Ouattara as the winner.

ECOWAS has warned that it will use “legitimate force” if President Gbagbo
refuses to step down.

But, despite increasing international pressure, supporters of the Ivoirian leader say Mr. Gbagbo will not step down.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid