News / Africa

Rival Presidential Candidates Take Dueling Oaths of Office in Ivory Coast

A supporter of Ivory Coast opposition leader Alassane Ouattara carry a burning tire during a protest in the city of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010.
A supporter of Ivory Coast opposition leader Alassane Ouattara carry a burning tire during a protest in the city of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010.
TEXT SIZE - +

Ivory Coast's presidential candidates took competing oaths of office Saturday, deepening the country's political crisis and raising the prospect of further violence.

Last Sunday's presidential vote was meant to reunite the country after a brief civil war. But Ivory Coast is now more sharply divided with dueling presidencies and competing electoral results that threaten to drag the country deeper into crisis.

By annulling as fraudulent nearly 10 percent of all ballots cast, Ivory Coast's constitutional council says President Laurent Gbagbo won election with more than 51 percent of the vote. He was sworn in Saturday before a lively crowd at Abidjan's presidency.

But the country's electoral commission says former prime minister Alassane Ouattara won the election with more than 54 percent of the vote. He took his own oath of office Saturday, saying the last few days have been difficult, but the country is now in good hands.

Ivory Coast's military backs President Gbagbo. Former rebels who still control most northern regions say Mr. Ouattara is the winner.

The African Union is warning against undermining the electoral process and the will of the people, saying that could lead to a " crisis of incalculable consequences " .

France, the United States, and the European Union have joined the United Nations in calling on Mr. Gbagbo to step aside for Mr. Ouattara.

That outside pressure only seems to embolden the president, who used his inaugural address to denounce what he calls terrible cases of foreign interference that threaten Ivory Coast's sovereignty. Mr. Gbagbo said political crises in Africa are caused by people who do not respect the law. That is essential, he says. No country can be strong without respecting laws and procedures.

He says the electoral commission has never had the authority to determine the credibility of a vote. That power has always been the sole responsibility of the constitutional council, and Mr. Gbagbo says people who do not understand that do not understand the law.

A 2007 peace deal signed by Mr. Gbagbo says the United Nations must certify the results of this election. Because the U.N. certified the original electoral commission results that show Mr. Gbagbo losing, Mr. Ouattara says he is the rightful president.

In a letter to the constitutional council, Mr. Ouattara said the exceptional circumstances Ivory Coast is undergoing at the moment do not permit him to swear the oath in person, so he is sending a written oath in his capacity as president.

Soldiers set up roadblocks in Abidjan Saturday. The country is already under an overnight curfew. All the borders are closed. Foreign news broadcasts are suspended indefinitely.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid