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Vol 52 No 4

Published 18th February 2011

Côte d'Ivoire

Democracy standoff

Bitterness grows amid the political stalemate and economic pressure on Laurent Gbagbo is mounting

The bitter rivalry between presidential claimants Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Dramane Ouattara has come to personify the arguments over how to manage elections in Africa and beyond. Although United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has publicly tempered his view of Gbagbo’s refusal to accept the results of the UN-certified elections in Côte d’Ivoire, his predecessor Kofi Annan was less constrained: ‘If President Gbagbo is allowed to prevail,’ he said, ‘election as an instrument of peaceful political change in Africa will suffer a serious setback.’

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