Friday, December 3, 2010

The country with two presidents

Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure and 'Les Elephants' is what most people would associate with Cote d'ivoire. Less than 24 hours after my last post, which featured an article, 'A practical guide to stealing elections in Africa', events in Cote d'ivoire or Ivory Coast have been unfolding dramatically. The results of the presidential run-off between Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara are in contention.

Left: Laurent Gbagbo, Right: Alasanne Outtara
The electoral commission chairperson announced that Alassane Outtara had won 54% of the vote to Gbagbo's 46%. The Constitutional Council has since overturned the result and instead declared Gbagbo winner with 51% to Outtara's 41%, citing electoral irregularities in the North, Ouattara's stronghold.
Ivory Coast, one of the world's major cocoa producers (over 15000 tonnes in 2003/04) finds itself with two presidents.
Abidjan by night
Tension is reportedly high in the country, and with my personal experience of living through the nightmare of Kenya's post-election troubles at the end of 2007/08, i have great empathy for the citizens of Ivory Coast, who already have experienced civil strife.

As i retire to bed, i think of the residents of the beautiful city of Abidjan, whose anxiety levels simply cannot allow them to nod-off even for a split-second. I hope and pray that peace prevails. And that the two gentlemen, their supporters and those unseen international forces pulling strings in different directions realize that its time the voice of the people of Cote d'ivoire to be respected.

Abidjan Cathedral

God Bless Cote d'ivoire, God Bless Africa!

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