Electoral instability in Ivory Coast

Published: 06 December 2010

The current crisis after the election in Ivory Coast is a risk for stability and peace in the country and region. This is what the President of the European Commission José Manuel Durão Barroso highlighted in his speech during the Opening Ceremony of the 5th edition of the European Development Days,

Speaking to the audience, Barroso pointed out "This is the unfolding of a story we have seen too many times. Democratic elections whose results were not accepted by those who were defeated, thus putting at risk the stability and peace in their country."

Similar situations have happened too many times in the past and they are one of the main causes of poverty and instability, Barroso said. “This shows that political leadership, statesmanship and respect of the will of the people are an integral part of the development equation. We deeply need it to overcome together the challenge of development."

The international community has recognised the opposition leader, Alassane Ouattara, as the winner of the presidential run-off vote, held a week ago. That, however, still did not stop Mr Gbagbo from defying calls to concede.  

In one of the debates this afternoon at the European Development Days dealing with Democracy and Human Rights, the former Prime Minister of Haiti Gérard Latortue – who was in charge of the electoral observers in the Ivory Coast – said that “it was unthinkable that former President Gbagbo could go so far.” He spoke of votes’ theft in an election that a very high percentage of participation (84%). The decision not to recognise people’s choice is now putting the security of the country in danger.