Monday, December 13, 2010



The runoff of the 2010 general election in Côte d’Ivoire has ended up with an awkward situation in which the legal proclamation by the institutions of the country are being contested by the international community on the basis of:

· a declaration by the so-called ‘Independent Electoral Commission’ controlled by the opposition of their side as a winner outside of the 3 day window to do so

· a ‘certification’ by the UN representative that the elections were fair and square despite multiple contrary reports by independent organizations.

The following analysis allows for another view of the problem and a more balanced approach of the issues in order to come to a fair resolution by independent parties and/or supporters of the constitutional rights of the Ivorian People.

1. Background

· December 24th, 1999: Military coup d’état against President Henri Konan Bedie

· October 26th, 2000: Election of Mr. Laurent Gbagbo as Ivory Coast’s president

· September 19th, 2002: Attack of Ivory Coast by an armed rebellion that seized the northern part of the country. The rebellion has its rear base in Burkina Faso.

· From 2002 to 2005: The process of crisis resolution is launched at the UN, France, South Africa, Ghana, Togo and Burkina leading to several peace agreements

· 2006-2007: a 12-month government led by PM Banny fails to accomplish a durable peace process with disarming the rebels and organizing elections.

· 2007: Agreement Treaty in Ouagadougou (APO) signed by rebel leader SORO and President Gbagbo

o Global Content of the agreement:
i. Reunification of the divided country
ii. Creating an independent electoral commission to organize elections (Consisting of 80% Rebel and RHDP – Opposition Coalition)
iii. Proclamation of final results by the Constitutional Council
iv. Supervision, Certification of the electoral process and peace-keeping actions by the UN

2. Facts

· Elections were organized under strong international pressure in a country still divided, with the north still being controlled by armed rebels unwilling to disarm.

· 1st round: topped with respectively 32% and 39% by Alassane Ouattara and Laurent Gbagbo. It should be noted irregularities in the North and the elimination of Bédié’s party, former ruler of the country ousted by the 1999 coup.

· 2nd round

o Cancellation of the results of France due to trouble (as in the 1st round)

o Many irregularities noted in the north of the country under rebel control (rebels involved in the process, disturbing voting operations and molesting LMP partisans and representatives)

o Mr. Gbagbo’ party LMP urged the cancellation of certain areas where people have been killed, wounded, intimidated and where the following happened: theft of ballot boxes, ballot stuffing, fraud and other PV inconsistencies.

o All theses actions were confirmed by several international observers in all the right polling placed in the SOUTH in the north under any irregularities (deaths, injuries, intimidation, theft of ballot boxes, ballot stuffing, fraud and other PV). See Comments of the EU, the AU, African experts etc.

o Deadlock in the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission), where the pre-agreed conflict resolution was based on the the principle of consensus

o After the legal deadline of 72 hours for the declaration of provisional results, IEC official statement by its President and in accordance with the constitution referred the case to the Constitutional Council.

o The Constitutional Council receives and processes complaints as well as IEC results. They proceed with the announcement of final results by proclaiming Laurent Gbagbo, elected with 51.45% of the votes.

o Surprisingly, the chairman of the IEC appears on a foreign TV channel, France 24,as participating in a press conference at the rebel HQ in the Golf hotel and announces alone – without the presence of any other IEC member and outside the legal deadline – the results of the election (bulk figures and no details) and declares Mr. Ouattara as winner and President-elect in front of small group of journalists. The national television and media are not present and not invited. He has not reappeared publicly since and is supposed to be held at the Golf Hotel.

o Surprisingly Mr. Choi, the United Nations’ representative in Côte d’Ivoire declares Mr. Ouattara winner of the ballot as well and certifies the results of the election on ONUCI Radio channel.

Mr Choi Youn-jin goes beyond the Constitutional Council and does so in violation of the UN Charter, which stipulates that each country is sovereign. In fact, the UN is not allowed to interfere in the internal affairs of states. Management and declaration of election results are part of sovereignty of states and not organizations. The UN is to support the CI electoral process and certify the elections. "

3. The basis for supporting the re-election of Mr. Laurent Gbagbo

· Due Process in following the pre-agreed rules for the election (with joint responsibility of the IEC, the Constitutional Council, the UN and the party representatives)

· Constitutional Council (Declaration and Inauguration)

· Observers (from several IEC approved organizations)

· The Ivorian people

· The Ivorian army

· Sovereignty of the State

4. Grave breaches of the international community

· Sequestration of Bakayoko

· Choi’s mistake in going beyond his rights and obligations

· The certification of final results is done by the CC and not by the IEC which proclaims temporary results

· The United Nations Charter has not been applied

5. Ouattara as a rebel in the republic

· Alleged supporter and financier of the rebels' coup of 1999 and the 2002 rebellion

· The media Coup d’état (Announcement on foreign media and outside of the IEC or CC headquarters)

· The forced Investiture on paper and at the rebel’s HQ

· Plan for CI destruction (the rumor mill has never been so strong with all sorts of allegations floating through SMS and Internet sites: army chief in custody, northerners chased in Abidjan, president on leave, president supporters hiding etc.)

· Intoxication and communication War: Divisive themes on foreign media and local newspapers, false claims and partisan journalism (not fact based)

· Results Proclamation on illegal websites (;; ) as soon as Monday 29 November when the official structures were still counting votes.

· Participation rate is 70% instead of the abnormal rate 85% declared by M. Bakayoko, which provides for a number of ‘new’ votes unaccounted for

· 8 out of 20 regions for Ouattara (participation up to 99% participation and 100% of victory

· Election irregularities throughout the north. (Regions were Ouattara wins with giant scores)

This brings the following questions:

* Why such a rush to announce results when the consensus was not reached by all parties?

* Why force pre-agreed results trough all media when counting was still going on?

* How do we reconcile these numeric inconsistencies on participation rate and voters total?

* Why is the International Community led by France so resistant to listening to the other side of the story?

* Why is it repeated that the CC is for one party when the IEC is clearly not independent and nobody states that?

* Why are the violence acts in the north not condemned and minimized when all the parties know for a fact that armed rebels in a region can influence voting patterns?

* Why is the opposition stubbornly trying to be divisive and creating a theory of chaos when everybody sees a town back to work and anxious to be over and done with the process peacefully?

6. Why CI should be assisted in this election crisis

· Major Strategic and Economical Role of Ivory Coast in West Africa

· Reinforcement and enhancement of democracy and of the rule of Law: The CC is not an ad-hoc institution but one that has been in existence for over a decade. Why is it contested now when elections results are not in favor of the opposition candidate?

· Extortion against population: the past 8 years have been an example of what CI should not be in the northern part

o Absence of state law and representatives

o Absence of citizen and goods protection: none of the goods seized by the rebellion have been given back despite the 2007 Peace Agreement

o Armed rebels are still managing and controlling the region

o All the infrastructures have been systematically destroyed: hospitals, schools, industries, farms etc.

o The rule of terror in those regions can easily be attested by religious leaders and NGOs and is in strong contrast with what is going on in the Southern regions

o Despite this absence of the rule of law, the government throughout this period has provided water and electricity.

· Al-Qaeda close to Ivory Coast

o Mr Ouattara has introduced religion as a basis for his elimination on 1995, where the basis was more citizenship and loyalty to the state as he had served under Burkina Faso in previous roles

o This generated support from all neighboring Muslim populations and extremist leaders in mosques do not hesitate to ask their worshipers to support the Muslim<>

o Al Qaeda has been making inroads in West Africa up to Mali and should not be allowed to progress any further

o Extremist leaders are looking for this opportunity to create mass support

o Lebanese Hezbollah is already present in the country thru the strong community established locally

· Africans in general are less and less supportive of international diktats in choosing their leaders, their policies and their way of living.

o Important that the International community be seen as bi-partisan

o France has not been fair historically in CI and their role in 2002 and 2004 is still perceived as colonial

o Future leaders have to be strong and seen as resisting these diktats, despite the ever-growing pressure to obey and be submissive

o Facts spreading worldwide on Internet and thru email and SMS allow people to be well informed and to make their own choice.

o The Rule of Truth can no longer be avoided and hidden. It is an expectation by all.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Verdict of the Constitutional Council of Côte d'Ivoire


The chairman of the Constitutional Council of Côte d'Ivoire has rendered the verdict expected in the second round of presidential elections. According to the High court in Ivory Coast, it is the outgoing president, Laurent GBAGBO, who won the majority vote of the electors. He was sworn.

So decided his countrymen who have turned their choice on him, giving him 51.45% of the votes cast, after the second round of presidential elections held in Côte d'Ivoire on Sunday 28 November 2010. Such is the substance of the decision just made public by the Constitutional Council. The high court in Ivory Coast, chaired by Professor Paul NDRE YAO, ruled on the election and announced the final result, as authorized by the electoral law and the Constitution of

the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire adopted in 2000.

Article 59 of the 2000 Electoral Act states clearly: "The commission in charge of the elections proceeded to the counting of votes and the proclamation of the provisional election results, at the level of administrative districts, in the presence of the candidates’ representatives. Three copies of the minutes and supporting documents are submitted to the Committee in charge of the Elections. It makes the collection operations and the proclamation of provisional results in the presence of candidates’

representatives. The election commission notifies the Constitutional Council a copy of the minutes and supporting documents within three days after the election. Other copies of minutes remain respectively in the archives of the electoral commission of the administrative district of the national commission for elections and the Ministry of Interior. "

Unless one considers that Côte d'Ivoire is a country "without law" or a country where

Laurent Gbagbo, outgoing president, will continue for the next five years to preside

over the destiny of the Ivorian people.

Contrary to the statement of the President of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of 2 November 2010 and which has caused some confusion in people’s mind, only the Constitutional Council is empowered to proclaim the final results of

presidential elections in Côte d'Ivoire. the word ACT is either a luxury or even the Constitution of this country is a "vulgar rag" that anyone can step on his way, then we do not understand the game of the President of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). Indeed, Mr. Youssouf BAKAYOKO and members of his institution could not report provisional results within the time prescribed by the electoral code as described above. They had, at the end of the poll on November 28, 2010, three full days.

This provision of Article 59 is included in Article 24 of Ordinance No. 133 of 14 April 2008 called "ADJUSTMENT OF ELECTION CODE FOR THE GENERAL ELECTIONS TO GET OUT OF CRISIS." The new text states: "Article 24: Article 59 is adjusted as follows:

New Article 59: The Independent Electoral Commission proceeded to counting of votes and proclamation of the provisional election results, in the administrative district, in the presence of the representatives of the candidates available.

Three copies of the minutes and supporting documents are submitted to the President of the Independent Electoral Commission. It makes the collection operations and the announcement of provisional results in the presence of candidates’ representatives.

The President of the Independent Electoral Commission communicates to the Constitutional Council, the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN in Côte d'Ivoire and the Special Representative of the Facilitator a copy of the minutes, and the supporting documents within three (3) days after the election.

Other copies of minutes respectively remain in the archives of the Electoral Commission and the local headquarters of the Independent Electoral Commission."

It is, however, the precision made by the President of the Constitutional Council when he spoke on December 2nd, 2010 on national television in Côte d'Ivoire: "Since yesterday, Wednesday, December 1st at midnight, the time allotted to the independent electoral commission, i.e. three days since the polls closed, Sunday 28 to Wednesday December 1, has expired.

It is worth clarifying the role of the IEC and the Constitutional Council in the electoral process. IEC, in accordance with legal provisions, organizes the elections and announces the preliminary results within three days after the polls closed. In this case, the IEC would announce the interim results on Wednesday, 1 December 2010 to midnight at the latest. Due to divergence on the results of certain regions, the CIS has been able to give preliminary results."

So on Monday, December, 1st, 2010 to midnight at the latest, obliged by law, was made to the IEC to declare the provisional results of the presidential election. This was not done.

Therefore, the statement in the afternoon of December 1st, 2010, i.e. four days after the election is totally illegal, unbecoming from the president of such an institution, a career diplomat, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, in this very sensitive period.

The same statement on provisional results of the presidential election would not have caused such outrage or controversy if it was published within the constitutional deadline of three days. However, the method of validation of results, by consensus, adopted within the Central Committee led to a blockage, when it came to deciding on further violence and irregularities that marred the elections in the north. Irregularities denounced by many international observers from Africa, accredited by the IEC, who saw objective factors leading to the invalidation of the vote in those areas.

What makes the intervention made alone by Youssouf BAKAYOKO more than suspect is that he has made it outside the official headquarters of the IEC, in a hotel which also serves as headquarters to one of the candidates, the absence of representatives of the candidate Laurent GBAGBO, and the absence of other members of this institution in charge of organizing elections and without the knowledge of the national media including the official Ivorian television which has previously broadcasted, live, The results that were announced.

So, it is only the Constitutional Council that is entitled to play fully its role: to study the litigation, if there is any, and proclaim the final results. It is moreover, what the Ivorian Constitution adopted by referendum in 2000 states in its "Article 94:

The Constitutional Council controls the regularity of referendums and announces the results. The Council shall decide on: • The eligibility of candidates for presidential and legislative elections; Any disputes concerning the election of the President of the Republic and deputies. The Constitutional Council announces the final results of presidential elections. "

However, as far as the litigation is concerned, the candidate Laurent GBAGBO appealed to the Constitutional Council to rule on the "numerous and serious irregularities" that marred the election in the north. The candidate GBAGBO noted in particular, the absence of its representatives and delegates in many polling stations, they were hunted by the military rebels of Forces Nouvelles who do not hide their support to Alassane Ouattara; the stuffing ballot boxes in favor of his opponent; the transport of minutes by unauthorized persons; the lack of voting booth; the increase of the votes cast in favor of his opponent.

From the foregoing, it is surprising, and impermissible under Ivorian laws that, without awaiting the decision of the Constitutional Council, Alassane Ouattara is declared winner of the elections. Moreover, he allows himself, a winner’s statement, as if he is the winner of the election confirmed by the only Ivorian court competent in such case.

The Constitutional Council has decided. As recognized in the Constitution of Côte d'Ivoire. On the decision, the Constitution of Côte d'Ivoire adopted in 2000 is very clear in its article 98: "Article 98 The decisions of the Constitutional Council are not subject to appeal. They are binding on governments at all administrative authorities, judicial, military and any person or entity. "

Unless you have contempt for the sovereign people of Cote d’Ivoire, does the representative of UN Secretary General, Mr. CHOI have the right to make the statements he allows himself to do? Certainly no.

So, it is naturally, that the president elected after the election aimed to end the crisis has taken the oath without delay according to Article 39 of the Constitution of Côte d'Ivoire. "Article 39 The powers of the President of the Republic shall expire on the date of taking office the President-elect, which takes place upon oath.

Within forty-eight hours after the announcement of final results, the elected President of the Republic takes an oath before the Constitutional Council gathered in a formal session. The oath is:

"Before the sovereign people of Côte d'Ivoire, I solemnly swear and to honor to respect and faithfully defend the Constitution, protect the rights and freedoms of citizens, to conscientiously fulfill my duties in the best interests of the Nation. May the Ivoirian people withdraw his confidence and I should undergo the rigor of the law, if I betray my oath ""

Saturday, February 2, 2008

My friend in atlanta

As I like eating, I will never say no to an eating party. One day Noellia invited us to eat Spanish food: Paella. It tasted very good. Unfortunately Ella forgot to bring vodka lol.
So if you got the opportunity to eat Spanish food, don’t hesitate because it really tastes good.
Noellia is on the left side, me in the middle, and Ella on the right side.

The day my bag was stolen

One of the events which marked my life is the day my bag was stolen. It was the first time this kind of thing happened to me. What made this day even more unforgettable was the speed with which friends came to my rescue. No matter how terrifying this experience was, it helped me figure out how important friendship can be.

It was an ordinary day. I just woke up early and preparing myself for school. It was very cold outside and because of the heavy fog we couldn’t see more than one meter ahead. On my way to school, I noticed that somebody was following me, but I didn’t pay attention to it the first time. As this person continued to follow me, I started to walk more quickly but suddenly, the guy started chasing me. I panicked so much that I couldn’t move. Therefore, he caught me, took my bag, pushed me on the grass, and continued to run away. Since I had all my stuff in this bag (wallet, identity card, my house key…) I needed to go to the police station to make some lost declaration.

When I arrived at the police station, lots of people were waiting there. Consequently, I spent lot of time waiting to make my complaint. After a few hours they took my complaint. Because I had my ID with my address on it and also my keys in the bag, the policeman asked me to change my door locks to avoid being stolen. I was so frightened of being stolen and so desperate that I wanted to change my lock as quickly as possible before the thief got to my house. When I was told it was going to cost me 500 euros to change the lock, I got panicky again because I didn’t have the money. Just when I was thinking of how to raise the amount, my friends came to my aid with the money.

To conclude, no matter how sad and frightening this experience was, it helped me to figure out that I have some good friends whom will always be there for me and it helped me also to figure out the meaning and the importance of friendship.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Me, My self and I

Most of the time, people introduce themselves before writing another thing on their blog, but unfortunately I didn't do that, nevertheless in French we have some adage which say “it will never be late to do well”. so let do it now. My name is Larissa KIPRE and I come from Ivory Coast which is located in West Africa (if you want more information about my country you can see some picture or a little description of my country in my blog). I have been living in Atlanta for 4 month. Before that I had been living in France for ten years and in Quebec (Canada) for one year and half, so you can guess that I like travelling and discovering new country, new culture. I also like listening music, watching TV, going to the movie theater, reading…. I hope this few words about myself are going to make you more comfortable in reading my blog, so enjoy doing it and feel free to post some comment.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

How war and peace have affected my life

The dictionary definition of peace doesn’t express the importance of this term. The dictionary defines peace as a state of tranquility or absence of war. Nevertheless, when you have already experienced war, you know that this definition is too simple to describe the importance of this term. In my opinion, peace is more than a simple definition or a political reality. I have read books about how war has affected people’s life, but you have to experience it to figure out it importance. Thus, my real life experience with war has impacted my life in several ways.

First of all, I’m able today to understand the importance of peace in a country. Indeed, because I have seen my country before, during, and after the war, I’m convinced that a country can’t prosper without peace. For me, having peace in a country is more important that being the most powerful country in the world. I remember the day the last agreement which brought peace in my country was signed. I had never seen such kind of happiness around the cities. Everybody was singing and dancing in the street. In the days after that, it was like life appeared in a country and all despair and sadness had disappeared leaving hope and joy in its place. For me, this kind of experience showed me the importance of peace in a country.

However, the most important effects of war had on my life is that now I’m more involved in bringing peace around the world. Indeed, at the beginning of the war in my country, some friends and I organized a collection of clothes, shoes and money in France to help the people who lost everything in this war. To do so, we organized some conferences about how war had destroyed people’s life. Today I’m still working in an organization which aims to talk about peace around the word. When I was in Canada, we organized a conference at my university to explain the causes and the effects of war in Africa and to make people understand the importance of peace, but the principal aim of our conference was to involve African students who wanted to return in their countries. We wanted them to be more concern about peace. We think that this kind of actions like the conference can be one method to avoid future war.

To conclude, even if war had some bad consequences in my life, for instance I lost lot of members of my family; it also helped me to understand the importance of peace and figure out that I want to be more concern of social things, for instance being involved in NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) in my country like helping people who needs some help. However, in general, war is not a good thing and peace has to be a principal of everybody.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

how to resolve a conflict

The resolution of an army crisis is not easy, and it takes several steps. We are going to take the example of the resolution of the Ivorian crisis. First of all, all parties involved in the fight went to Paris to sign the First agreement which is called “Marcoussis’s agreement.” Nevertheless, this agreement wasn’t accepted by Ivorians, because they thought that the rebels were given all the power, thus there were lot of demonstrations in the street against it. So, they went secondly in Accra, the capital of Ghana, to sign a complementary agreement which was supposed to fix up the first one as it was rejected. Unfortunately this new agreement wasn’t accepted once again by the Ivorians. The United Nations decided then to take care of the Ivorian problem because one of their roles is the prevention of conflicts and the promotion of peace, so they tried to write an agreement called “Resolution 1633,” which was supposed to end the war. This resolution was interpreted by Ivorians as powerful countries wanting to impose their view on the weaker countries, so it was completely rejected even by the parties involved in the fight. Finally, the Ivory Coast president decided to propose a way to resolve the fight. Indeed, he proposed that all parties had to be involved in the resolution. All assailants must be pardoned for their role in introducing war in Ivory Coast, and manufacturing must be developed in the northern part of the country since unemployment in this part was one reason for the different. Because all these solutions proposed by him were attractive to all parties, they were accepted by the opposition, and then the fight was ended and peace was brought to the country. To conclude, we have seen through the Ivorian example that the resolution of an army crisis is not easy, and it can take several steps, and lots of time too.