Thursday, 14 April 2011

Freak election, Ivory Coast crisis and from democratic to autocratic

Freak election, Ivory Coast crisis and from democratic to autocratic

What lessons have we learned from the following timeline?

2 September 2009
Freak election and army

AT YESTERDAY’S dialogue, writer Catherine Lim posed MM Lee this question: ‘Sir, in the event of a serious threat of a freak election, would you do the unthinkable, that is, send in the army?’ This is an edited extract from Mr Lee’s reply:
UN Force at Ivory Coast  Reuters photo
One of the first lessons I learnt in politics was from Harold Laski. He said if you don’t have a system that allows fundamental change by consent, you will have a revolution by violence. If we block all possibilities, we must expect violence. In that violence, eventually the army won’t shoot because you are in the wrong. That’s what happens in Africa, the army goes in and holds up the president and often shoots him.

28 November 2010
Ivory Coast Crisis: Opposition won the Presidency and recognized by international community

Ivory Coast in Africa
A presidential election was held in two rounds in Côte d'Ivoire (also called the Ivory Coast). The first round was held on 31 October 2010 and a second round, in which President Laurent Gbagbo faced opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, was held on 28 November 2010

On 2 December 2010, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) released provisional results showing that Ouattara had won the election in the second round with 54% of the vote. However the President of the Constitutional Council immediately declared that the results were invalid and the next day, the Constitutional Council declared Gbagbo the winner. Both Gbagbo and Ouattara claimed victory and took the presidential oath of office. The ensuing events led to the 2010–2011 Ivorian crisis.

Ouattara, internationally acknowledged winer
The international community, including the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), theEuropean Union, the United States, and former colonial power Francehave affirmed their support for Ouattara, who is "almost universally acknowledged to have defeated [Gbagbo] at the ballot box," and have called for Gbagbo to step down. On 18 December, Gbagbo ordered all UN peacekeepers to leave the country. However, the UN has refused, and the Security Council has extended the mandate of the UN Mission in Côte d'Ivoire until 30 June 2011. International powers have been in talks to enlarge the UN force in the Ivory Coast.

11 April 2011
End of a dictator in Ivory Coast
Gbago and wife arrested in a hotel 
Clinton: Gbago's capture is a signal to dictators who 'cling to power'
Earlier, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Gbagbo's capture "sends a strong signal to dictators and tyrants throughout the region and throughout the world that they may not ignore the voice of their people in free and fair elections and that there will be consequences for those who cling to power."

Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo: From democrat to dictator

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