News / Africa

Gbagbo Adviser Rejects Calls for President to Step Down

Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, center, gestures during a photo opportunity with his newly-named cabinet, with Prime Minister N'Gbo Gilbert Marie Ake, front left, at the presidency in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Dec 7, 2010
Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, center, gestures during a photo opportunity with his newly-named cabinet, with Prime Minister N'Gbo Gilbert Marie Ake, front left, at the presidency in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Dec 7, 2010

Multimedia

Audio
  • Ambassador Yao Gnamien, a special advisor to Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo spoke with Clottey

Peter Clottey

A special advisor to Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo told VOA the embattled leader will not hand over power, despite calls to do so by the international community, including leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), following the disputed presidential run-off vote.

Ambassador Yao Gnamien described the ongoing political impasse as a constitutional controversy which can “easily” be resolved through dialogue between Mr. Gbagbo and former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara, the declared winner of the 28th November run-off vote.

“It happened in the United States (presidential election) in the year 2000 and (they) solved the problem with their legal system. That means that you’ve got a controversial election and the Supreme Court decided who was the winner,” said Ambassador Gnamien.

“In our case, we can say our election was a controversy and the Constitutional Court decided that the winner is President Laurent Gbagbo. Like in any democracy, the final result is given by the court. This is what happened in our country.”

ECOWAS issued a statement following a meeting of seven regional heads of state in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, Tuesday calling on Mr. Gbagbo to step down “immediately” and hand over power to Mr. Ouattara.

Several international observers, including the United Nations and the U.S. - based Carter Center, declared the run-off vote as free and fair.

But, Ambassador Gnamien said the country’s Constitutional Court has the mandate to declare the winner, despite the electoral body’s pronouncement to the contrary.

“Out of the 16 heads of state who are members of the ECOWAS, only four were present. I think that it is a signal that means that those who didn’t attend don’t think that the decision was a good decision,” said Ambassador Gnamien.

The head of ECOWAS, Nigerian President Jonathan Goodluck, said the group is not interested in a negotiated unity government saying such arrangements in other countries like Kenya or Zimbabwe did not work.

Meanwhile, the top U.N. envoy in Ivory Coast says there is no doubt that Mr. Ouattara won last month's presidential election.

Speaking at a news conference in Abidjan Wednesday, Choi Young-jin said the Ivorian people chose Mr. Ouattara as their president by an "irrefutable margin."

The comments intensify the international pressure on Mr. Gbagbo to step down and hand over power to his opponent.

You May Like

Ukraine President Appeals for More US Support

Speaking before Congress ahead of meeting with President Obama, Petro Poroshenko urges lawmakers to back Ukraine in its quest for freedom and democracy More

Photogallery Global Audience Watches as Scots Go to the Polls

People were almost equally divided over a vote for independence, watched closely by Britain's allies, investors and restive regions at home and abroad More

China to Invest $20B in India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high-profile visit 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid