News / Africa

Gbagbo Rejects Pressure to Leave Power in Ivory Coast

West African leaders are calling on Laurent Gbagbo to step down as president of Ivory Coast, in favor of a former prime minister who won a vote that was certified by the United Nations.

Mr. Gbagbo appears determined to hold on to power in the face of international pressure.

Gbagbo spent much of the last decade joining fellow West African heads of state in trying to resolve regional issues, most recently military rule in Niger.

But Mr. Gbagbo is now on the outside, excluded from an emergency meeting of the Economic Community of West African States to discuss the political crisis in Ivory Coast.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan chairs the regional alliance. He says Mr. Gbagbo's former colleagues want him to yield power, without delay, because he lost last month's vote to former prime minister Alassane Ouattara.

"We believe that, in a democratic election, the votes of the people must count," he said. "Where we have a democracy where the votes do not count, ECOWAS will no longer accept such a pseudo or false democracy.  And, we believe that the results declared by the electoral commission and accepted by the U.N. special representative there is the authentic one, and Ouattara is the person who we support as the president of Cote d'Ivoire."

Mr. Ouattara's claim to the presidency is based on the United Nations certification of electoral commission results that show him winning 54 percent of the vote. Mr. Gbagbo's claim to the presidency is based on Ivory Coast's constitutional council annulling as fraudulent nearly ten percent of all ballots cast, giving him 51 percent of the vote.

Both men have named new prime ministers and have the support of rival armed forces. Mr. Gbagbo is supported by senior military officers who control southern regions. Mr. Ouattara is supported by former rebels who control northern regions.

Mr. Gbagbo's rebuke by former colleagues and Ivory Coast's suspension from the regional alliance is not likely to change his approach to the political crisis. The constitutional council's decision is unappealable. Mr. Gbagbo is moving forward with a new cabinet and a new foreign minister, who has threatened to expel the United Nations special representative.

In the media blackout that has followed this vote, all foreign news broadcasts are suspended.  State-run television has made no mention of the original electoral commission results or calls from the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union, France, the United States and Britain for Mr. Gbagbo to step down.

Instead, the national broadcaster is running a series of interviews with Gbagbo supporters.

Alcide Djedje, who is Mr. Gbagbo's new foreign minister, used his time on the nightly news to threaten the U.N. special representative here.

Djedje says the United Nations was meant to help Ivory Coast out of its crisis, not to interfere in its internal affairs.  He says this is the last time the U.N. can act in that fashion.   He says, if the U.N. special representative here continues to call Mr. Ouattara the winner of the election, he will be expelled.

You May Like

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing More

Debris Found in Search for Missing Ship

Objects located Sunday have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240 meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, according to US Coast Guard More

Survivor: Gunman Spared 'Lucky One' to Give Police Message

Law enforcement official says a manifesto of several pages was recovered; contents not revealed More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs