A Gbagbo supporter speaks up on The Observers

Although outgoing Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo has lost the support of the international community, he can still count on many faithful backers in his home country.  


Laurent Gbagbo's supporters on December 7, the day he was sworn in.


Although outgoing Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo has lost the support of the international community, he can still count on many faithful backers in his home country.


Both Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara claim to have won the presidential election on November 28, and both have declared themselves president. But Alassane Ouattara is the only president recognised by the international community after the Independent Electoral Commission declared him winner with over 54 percent of the votes. However Ivory Coast’s constitutional council declared the results invalid and proclaimed Gbagbo president.


At the Observers we try to reflect the voice of all Ivorians by publishing the accounts of supporters of both camps. The following text was sent to us by a Gbagbo supporter last week. Click here to read the accounts of activists from Ouattara’s party who protested in Abidjan yesterday. Do you want to give your account of events in Ivory Coast? Sign up on The Observers and contact our journalists.


"The UN only believed the account of a handful of European electoral observers"

LZ lives in Abidjan. He prefers to remain anonymous.


Ouattara was not fairly elected. There were serious voting irregularities in both rounds of the elections. Credible observers noted many instances of fraud, and duly reported them on the RTI (state television). They all reported more or less the same thing and cited the same cities. Gbagbo’s camp filed an official complaint based on these reports, within the legal delay of three days. The complaint was examined by the relevant authorities, and ultimately led to the disqualification of a certain number of votes.


Choi [the UN representative in the Ivory Coast] only believed the accounts of a handful of white, European electoral observers. This is insane. Why didn’t he take into account the reports of perfectly credible African observers who to the best of my knowledge had no known link with Gbagbo? The Ivorian jurists who commented the situation on RTI made it very clear that the November 28 election was not valid.


“These votes are not legal”


You need to bear in mind that, according to the Ivorian constitution, the electoral commission’s task was to submit provisional results to the constitutional court. The commission was supposed to announce these results from its headquarters, in the presence of all its members [from both Ouattara’s and Gbagbo’s camp].


To our great surprise, the commission announced not provisional, but permanent results, from the Golf Hotel [Ouattara’s headquarters]. Only the commission’s president, who is a close Ouattara ally, was present. The other commission members said they weren’t even aware the results were being announced! These results are not legal, because they were presented in the wrong place by the wrong person. For me, what is legal is Gbagbo’s swearing in by the constitutional court.


Personally I will never support a regime whose supporters are quick to use violence. Don’t forget that some regions in the north are occupied by armed rebels. No embassy (be it France or the US) nor Choi ever denounce this fact. How can there be a free and transparent vote if people go to the polls at gunpoint?”