News / Africa

Ivory Coast Army Backs Controversial Gbagbo's Re-election

Supporters of Ivory Coast opposition leader Alassane Ouattara protest in the city of Abidjan, 04 Dec 2010
Supporters of Ivory Coast opposition leader Alassane Ouattara protest in the city of Abidjan, 04 Dec 2010

Ivory Coast's military is backing the president's re-election after the constitutional council overturned vote results showing the president losing to a former prime minister. The president is expected to be sworn in on Saturday.

Armed forces chief General Philippe Mangou lead a delegation of senior officers to congratulate President Laurent Gbagbo.

Mangou says military chiefs came to greet the president, to give him their respect, to pledge their allegiance, and to reiterate their readiness to carry out any mission he gives them.

Ivory Coast's constitutional council Friday declared President Gbagbo the winner, overturning electoral commission results that show him loosing to former prime minister Alassane Ouattara.

The Council annulled results from seven northern regions where it says Ouattara supporters  engaged in electoral fraud. The number of votes cancelled was enough to give President Gbagbo more than 51 percent of the vote.

U.S. President Barack Obama, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and the head of the regional Economic Community of West African States are all rejecting Mr. Gbagbo's win, saying Mr. Ouattara is the country's president-elect.

But that has no bearing on what happens here in Ivory Coast. There is no appealing the  constitutional council's decision. With the support of the military, President Gbagbo is expected to be sworn in Saturday.

At least 14 people have been killed in electoral violence. The country is under an overnight curfew. All its borders are closed. Foreign news broadcasts are suspended indefinitely.

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