News / Africa

Gbagbo Suing West African Leaders for Recognizing Rival

Ivory Coast's political crisis has gone to court, with the incumbent president asking West African judges to annul a decision recognizing his rival as the winner of November's vote.  

Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo wants the regional Court of Justice to invalidate decisions by the Economic Community of West African States that recognize declarations by both Ivory Coast's electoral commission and the United Nations that former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara won the vote.

Attorney Mohammed Lamine Faye, who represents the Gbagbo government, says those decisions violate the supremacy of Ivory Coast's constitutional court, which declared Mr. Gbagbo the winner, after annulling as fraudulent nearly ten percent of all ballots cast. Faye says the decisions also violate United Nations resolutions on Ivory Coast.

Faye says the Gbagbo government is asking the regional court to find these decisions illegal, thus forcing regional leaders to suspend any actions connected to those pronouncements.

Regional leaders have threatened to use military force to remove Mr. Gbagbo, if he does not hand over power to Mr. Ouattara.

In a separate filing before the Abuja-based court, Nigerian attorney Godswill Mrakpor sought an order blocking the use of force by the regional alliance, which is known as ECOWAS.

"I have relatives in Ivory Coast," said Mrakpor . "If the Nigerian government or ECOWAS decide to use force against Laurent Gbagbo, I have friends in the Nigerian armed forces.  I have brothers in the Nigerian armed forces who will be mobilized and they can also lose their lives. So my interest is to ensure that there is peace in my region. It is a duty imposed on me by the African Charter."

Mrakpor says the actions of ECOWAS show it is no longer neutral.

"The people who ordinarily should have been the natural mediators, which is the ECOWAS, we feel that they have compromised their mediation capacity by hastily taking sides with Alassane Ouattara and then going a step further to issue an ultimatum and a threat of invading Ivory Coast in the event that Mr. Laurent Gbagbo refuses to step aside," he said.

ECOWAS Communications Director Sonny Ugoh says the lawsuits are a waste of time.

"The evidence before us is to the effect that Alassane Ouattara won the election, and that is the basis for all the decisions that heads of state have taken, and that is the position of ECOWAS," he said.

Ugoh said that Mr. Gbagbo had no problem with the first round of voting, because he won.  He says the incumbent president objects to the second-round run off because he lost.

"An election took place and both parties were satisfied with the process. That same process was replicated in the run-off. So I don't see why anybody would suddenly wake up and decide to change the goalposts at the end of the match," he said.

Ugoh says ECOWAS leaders stand firm in their conviction that Alassane Ouattara is Ivory Coast's duly-elected leader.

"There is a consensus about the results except for one person who said he won.  Don't suggest that the whole international community is wrong, including ECOWAS.  We had observers there.  The EU had observers there.  Everybody who cared had observers there. And, we were unanimous in saying that this is the outcome," he said.

The Court of Justice adjourned all the legal challenges until March 10.  Five heads of state from the African Union meet Sunday in Mauritania to discuss how best to resolve the political crisis.  




You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers 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.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More