Ivory Coast Election

December 9, 2010

Haiti isn't the only place struggling with the fallout from a controversial election. In Ivory Coast, two men are claiming the right to be the country's next President. And they both have powerful militias at their disposal.


Ivory Coast Election

We started this segment with a clip of Chris Kilala, an engineer who lives in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast. He talked about two men: Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara. Laurent Gbagbo is the country's current President. Alassane Ouattara ran against him. Both men say they are the rightful next President of the Ivory Coast. And neither appears ready to back down.

Chris Kilala thinks that Laurent Gbagbo should be the one to step aside. So does Ivory Coast's electoral commission, the majority of international election observers, most of the world's governments and the head of the United Nations' mission in Ivory Coast. 

But Laurent Gbagbo has Ivory Coast's Constitutional Council on his side, as well as the army. And for now, he's not leaving the Presidential Palace. In the meantime, both men have appointed Prime Ministers and cabinets. And both have well-armed militias at their disposal.

Pauline Bax is the West Africa correspondent for Bloomberg news service. We spoke to her in Abidjan. 

Election Panel

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Ivory Coast's independence. But the current political crisis has cast a long shadow over the celebrations. For their thoughts on what it means for their country, we reached Venance Konan and N'Dri Assié-Lumumba. Venance Konan is an Ivorian writer. N'Dri Assié-Lumumba is a research associate at the Université de Cocody in Abidjan. She's also a professor at the African Studies and Research Center at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

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