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

Report: $60 Billion Leaves Africa Illegally Each Year

Report by joint UN and African Union panel says African countries need to take concrete measures to stop illegal money flow from continent each year More

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Some analysts say Russian Tu-95 bombers were flying near British airspace to warn Britain about an inquest into a murdered Russian spy More

Mugabe Defends Image Amid Controversy at Close of AU Summit

He rejects concerns about how the West might perceive his leadership, saying he's focused on African development 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.
Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relationsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
January 31, 2015 10:50 PM
Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Neighborhood Divided Over Conflict

People in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk districts find themselves squarely in the path of advancing Russian-backed rebels, who want to take back the territory they held at the beginning of the conflict last year. Many local residents are afraid, but others would welcome the change, even when a rebel shell lands in their neighborhood. From the Luhansk district, 15 kilometers from where the Ukrainian government marks the front line, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid