#Article (Archive)

Laurent Gbagbo must go!

Dec 13, 2010, 11:00 AM

We see no reason why Laurent Gbagbo is still clinging on to power while refusing to give president-elect Alassan Quattara the way to lead.

The people of Ivory Coast have already made up their minds in choosing their new leader.

As said in our publications on Ivory Coast prior and even after the elections in the West African country, the choice of the people must be respected.

We also welcome the move taken on Ivory Coast by the United Nations Security Council, the AU Peace and Security Council and ECOWAS.

The most shocking thing about the wrangling in Ivory Coast is that while the country’s independent electoral commission has declared veteran opposition leader Alassan Ouattara winner of the second round of the election, the constitutional court headed by Gbagbo’s ally has overturned the verdict of the electoral commission and ruled in his favour.

Consequently, Laurent Gbagbo and Alassan Quattara were each subsequently sworn in as the President of the country. So, we now have a funny situation in Ivory Coast, where the country has two heads of state.

Gbagbo earlier defied international demands for him to yield and he named a new cabinet, two days after Ouattara had announced his parallel government.

Now the world is asking: How can a government survive under international isolation? Realistically, the innocent civilians will suffer from his self-imposed leadership.

Gbagbo has refused to hand over power in the world’s top cocoa grower despite calls from the United States, the European Union and ECOWAS, which has suspended Ivory Coast.

He must respect the outcome of the election or pay the price of his selfishness.

Is this what we call democracy? No, not at all! Democracy as far as we are concerned is about the government of the people, by the people and for the people.

As a result, in the case of Ivory Coast, Gbagbo's government is illegal and thus deserves international isolation.

In Africa, we don't need self-imposed leaders any more in this 21st century of civilization but leaders chosen by the people.

We strongly urge Mr Gbagbo to respect the results of the election and to transfer power to the President-Elect, in the best interest of Côte d'Ivoire and Africa as a whole.

The people of Ivory Coast have suffered a lot and cannot afford to go back to crisis hence Gbagbo must go.

"Democracy is good. I say this because other systems are worse."
Jawaharlal Nehru