Gary Lane

CBN News Senior International Reporter

E-mail Feedback

Subscribe RSS

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe to this Feed

View All CBN News Blogs

View All CBN Blogs


Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go


ABIDJAN, Cote d’Ivoire - I’ve been in Cote d’Voire (Ivory Coast) since New Years Day meeting with government officials and talking to victims of recent election-related violence. I’ve also met the president, lunched with First Lady Simone Ehivet Gbagbo and even attended an exclusive meeting with all seven members of the Constitutional Council.

The conclusion? President Gbagbo won’t step aside because he is the certified winner of the presidential election.

Ble Goude, government minister of Youth and Employment, likens the election dispute to the 2000 presidential vote in the United States. Remember the hanging chads and the never ending vote count in Florida? The U.S. Supreme Court, under the authority granted to it by the U.S. Constitution, intervened and declared George W. Bush the winner. Al Gore bowed out graciously and Bush was sworn in as president.

Here in Cote d’Voire, the election results were disputed by members of the Electoral Commission. Commissioners agreed on results for 14 areas, but five were disputed. The three-day deadline for announcing the results was missed.

By law, the disputed election was sent to the Constitutional Commission where the seven member panel –after examining evidence of vote fraud—ruled that 500,000 ballots were invalid. They declared Gbagbo the winner. He was sworn in—as directed by the country’s constitution—as president.

But unlike Gore, Ouatarra is hanging on after a fraudulent election. Could you imagine Al Gore holding his own swearing-in ceremony? That's what Ouatarra did without the approval of the Constitutional Council as required by Ivorian Law.

Ouatarra and his supporters claim Gbagbo was chosen president by his political friends on the Council, but when I met with them this week, they appeared to me to be honest men and women of integrity. Some have PhD's and are well versed in Ivorian constitutional law. They did not resemble political hacks. Instead, I felt I was in the presence of the best and brightest legal minds of Cote d'Ivoire.

Meanwhile, Ouatarra has his own friends on the Electoral Commission. The commission president announced Alassane Ouatarra the winner. Not in the presence of representatives of both campaigns, not in the presence of other members of the commission, not in the commission headquarters -- all contrary to Ivorian law. Instead, he acted alone and made the announcement at the Golf Hotel, campaign headquarters for Ouatarra. Ouatarra was sworn in as president, but not by the Constitutional Council as required by law.

I’ve interviewed witnesses and victims of election day fraud and violence in the rebel controlled North and Central regions of the country. They’ve told me about the early closure of polling places and ballot boxes that were stuffed by rebels. They told of armed rebels that had forced people away from polling places. Some Gbagbo supporters and poll workers were brutally attacked. I interviewed one Gbagbo worker who was assaulted, raped and left for dead.

I also saw vote results from various Northern polling places. Many precincts had recorded zero votes for Gbagbo even though many people had voted for him in the same precincts in the first round of he presidential election. Some precincts recorded more people voting than had actually registered.

Earlier today, I interviewed two hospitalized victims of the Dec. 29 shootings by United Nations “Peacekeepers.” Many people here in the capital city of Abidjan say the UN troops are no longer protecting them and they are not impartial in this dispute (The UN backs Ouatarra). They say the UN's welcome is over and they want them to leave the country.

So, Cote d’Ivoire’s Christian president refuses to step aside. He says he wants to protect his nation from genocide that may come from the rebels and their former leader, Ouatarra. He says the election was fraudulent and France, the USA and the UN have rushed to judgment. He wants an international investigation. Washington and the international community should give him the opportunity to present the evidence.

Watch The 700 Club and CBN News later this week for my interview with President Gbagbo.

Until then, listen to some of my interview with Ble Goude by clicking on the videos below.

- In the first one, Goude says Ouatarra supporters are spreading violence.

- In clip two, he speculates on why France was quick to declare Ouatarra the winner.

- In clip number three, Goude explains why he doesn’t believe there was an election in the North.

- In the final clip, he likens his country’s presidential election dispute to Bush/Gore.

1. Spreading Violence:

2. Why France Supports Ouatarra:

3. No Election in the North:

4.

4. Ivorian Situation Like Bush/Gore:

Print     Email to a Friend    posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2011 1:08 PM



Comments on this post

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

Thank you, Gary!!!

This is the first news article telling the truth of what is going on in the Ivory Coast. Our daughter is a school teacher in Abidjan and she, her husband, and all her friends say exactly what you said here.

Bravo!!!

P.S The people of the world deserve an answer as to why the U.N., France, the Obama Administration and many others acted the way they did in this election.
Left by skipt on Jan 05, 2011 12:23 AM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go


God Bless you Gary,

The truth is coming out. I have been praying every single day since the crisis began. Oh! God help the Ivoirians.

French, UN and the Obama administration are playing the Oil game. This truth should be circulated everywhere in US and around the world. The US Congress and Senate needs to know what is going on in Ivory Coast. We should started standing up for the poor Ivoirians people.

Thanks


Left by Anonymous on Jan 05, 2011 5:55 PM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

Gary,

let me get this straight: After talking to (1) the president and wife, his friends at the CC and victims of violence in the North, and evidently not talking to (2) anyone from the UN, the president-elect+wife, his friends or victims of violence in the West, you have concluded that group 1 is actually right. Yes?

Gbagbo publically bragged about getting his friend N'Dre installed at the CC, the UN had been called in by both parties to independently organize and verify the elections (precisely because they didn't trust their own institutions enough). The UN have confirmed that there was violence and rigging going on, but not to an extent that would change the result. Read Choi/Ban Ki-Moon on that.

If you don't want to believe the UN, read up on what Amnesty has e.g. confirmed is going on in the country now in terms of people being killed/detained or injured opposition being denied medical help. Or Human Rights Watch on what's up with the media in IC.

Thanks in advance.
Left by fakegbagbo on Jan 06, 2011 5:17 PM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

Oh and one more thing: The recount that Gbagbo is asking for is a bit of a joke for the simple reason that the count of both the CEI (which saw Ouattara as the winner) and the CC (which overruled the result) are only marginally different. And for the last month the election documentation has been in the hands of Gbagbo. Honi soit qui mal y pense.
Left by fakegbagbo on Jan 06, 2011 5:26 PM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

France wants to reinstate their colonial rule in Cote d'Ivoire via a puppet politician. Here is another telling fact: Ouattara worked for the IMF for years. The IMF was started by the UN. And we think the UN is going to be unbiased? Enough said.

Thank you Gary for helping get the truth out. I have a friend in Cote d'Ivoire who has been telling me these things, but I have been searching the internet for unbiased, investigative reporting and all I have been finding is reports with no investigation behind them, just reports that blindly repeat what others are reporting, which are basically just quotes from politicians. What happened to investigative journalism! So thank you Gary. I also found another website with good info: http://www.cotedivoiretruth.com/
Left by A dissappointed american on Jan 06, 2011 11:32 PM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

I want to respond to the comment by Fakegbagbo. My question to you is: Where do you live? Are living in Côte d'Ivore or you read get you infos from the comfort of your living room? And before making comments read the article very well. Gary said "but when I met with them this week, they appeared to me to be honest men and women of integrity..." He spoke to victims from the northern and central regions. You complained of Gbagbo bragging about the CC but no one talks about the electoral com. which 2/3 of its members were Allassane's supporters including the Commission's president, Bakayoko. When it is so obvious that the UN is working by all means in favour of a candidate, why should its declaration be taken into consideration? If thez UN, Allassane and France do not have anything to hide, why don't they want a recount or a verification by an internationally constituted evaluating committee so that everyone will see the truth?
Left by Ipsafrique on Jan 08, 2011 7:15 AM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

Gary Lane,
Did you bother to talk to the people whose loved ones have been murdered and abducted by Gbagbo's people? Did you talk to the UN? Did you talk to the US ambassador in Cote d'Ivoire?
No Gary you did not. You preferred to dine with murderers and say this is a Muslim versus Christian conflict which it isn't? You never spoke to any victims because if your heart would never have allowed you to bear false witness.

You bear false witness Gary Lane.
May the lord forgive you.

A recount is absolutely not possible because the votes are now in the auspices of Laurent Gbagbo's constitutional council (supreme court) that has already broken law created by themselves (article 64) and created new laws on-the-fly (announcing a new winner).
Left by MonkeyDubious on Jan 08, 2011 9:01 AM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

Gary,
The truth is emerging from these elections and it shall set the people free. Without entering into historical considerations between Alassane, France, and The IMF, this set of electoral events has removed Alasanne's masque as the father of the rebellion financed by France and the IMF, facilitated by Burkina Fasso. The people of Ivory voted, NOT the international community. The Constitutional Council has jurisdiction to certify the elections and declare the winner, NOT the UN.
Obama said in Accra, Ghana:"Africa needs not strong personalities but strong institutions".
Today, Obama ates his words and turns against the constitution, the supreme institution of the Ivory Caost as a sovereign country. This Gore vs.Bush upside down!Shame on him!
Left by STRONGIVORIAN on Jan 08, 2011 4:37 PM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

Thank you, Ipsafrique:

> Where do you live?
Not in Cote d'Ivoire but got family and friends (both pro Gbagbo and Ouattara) there.

I'm not challenging Gary's assertion the victims he has spoken to were (wo)men of integrity. I'm saying there was fraud in both the North and the South.

> ... why should its [UN's] declaration be taken into consideration?

They were there precisely to do what they did: check and certify the election result as agreed by both parties. They are speaking out for one party because they believe that party has "irrefutably" won.

And your question would go for Yao N'Dre, too. Why listen to him, Gbagbo's puppet?

> why don't they want a recount or a verification by an internationally constituted evaluating committee ...?

Because (1) the voting counts only differ tiny amounts between CEI/UN/CC, the issue is not counts but arbitrary and unlawful cancellation of 7 districts, (2) the election documents were in Gbagbo's hands for the last month.
Left by fakegbagbo on Jan 09, 2011 5:00 AM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

Is Mr. Fakegbagbo (quotation: "... And for the last month the election documentation has been in the hands of Gbagbo. Honi soit qui mal y pense.") trying to insinuate that the ivoirian supreme court has faked the documentation since it has been in their possession for over one month.
I cannot believe that you are really serious arguing so. And if so then you belong those when Regis Debray said: "They have removed the helmet, but underneath their head is still colonial" Then you will never thing that the supreme court of your country will be able fake such documentation.
If you really want to learn something from this crisis in this Ivorian crisis then you get better trusting what Mr. Gary Lane has reported then he was in Ivory Coast. You should remember what happened in Kuwait & Irak when UN & USA under Bush declared war in these countries. This similar lie is happening in Ivory Coast. But as it says: The mills of God grind Slowly" and as Ivorian, I wish the truth should come out.
Left by Blackpharaoh on Jan 09, 2011 12:35 PM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

Blackpharaoh,

I trust the word of the politicians directly involved in this shambles the least and that does indeed include N'Dre. I don't believe I've ever been "colonial" and I long to see Africa (and CIV in particular) succeed.

> when UN & USA under Bush declared war

You apparently do not know that the UN did not authorize Bush's and Blair's war or even that the UN in fact was of the opinion that Iraq didn't have any weapons of mass destruction long before it became accepted fact. Bush and Blair went ahead without the UN and instead built their "coalition of the willing".

Also, I hope you are not seriously suggesting that Obama = Bush.
Left by fakegbagbo on Jan 09, 2011 12:58 PM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

(Part 1)To mister fake: What Gary is essentially saying is that he went to have the other side of the story. The entire world has heard Ouattara’s side well propagated by France, the UN, the Obama’s administration, the European Union, the African Union, Ecowas and what have you....
Left by Leo Gnawa on Jan 09, 2011 5:26 PM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

( part 2)....But no one ever the views from Gbagbo’s side. Therefore the professional and honest journalist that he is went to seat and spent time with Gbagbo and the Constitutional Court members and the victims of the rebel to form a complete opinion.
Now you are truly being dishonest intellectually and morally, to throw that Gbagbo’s friend nonsense. Whose friend is Guillaume Soro, who Gbagbo put in charge of running the government and organize the elections? By the way, if you have no clue, I will inform you that Soro is the figure-head commander of Ouattara’s Muslim rebels holding the North. Who is Youssouf Bakayoko’s friend? Ouattara’s as you know. He and the majority of the members of the Electoral commission as Gary point
Left by Leo Gnawa on Jan 09, 2011 5:29 PM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

...out, are Ouattara’s folks. You well know that the deal to put the Premiership in charge of organizing the elections as well as the electoral commission in the hand of Ouattara’s people and get Gbagbo’s people in the Court was an agreement between Ouattara and Gbagbo camps during the peace negotiation that resulted in the Accords de Ouagadougou.
It was therefore a deal by both camps. You forget to mention that on the eve of the elections, Ouattara and Gbagbo publicly went on TV and signed a document vowing to accept the results emanating from the constitutional court. So, it was never an issue on the Ouattara side until after they lost the election. It was the same constitutional court and the same Yao Ndre who proclaimed the results of the first round, yet no one said they did not accept it cause he was Gbagbo’s friend. But all this is totally irrelevant. The law says that the Constitutional Court is the final authority to declare a winner and the court declared Gbagbo the winner.
Left by Leo Gnawa on Jan 09, 2011 5:34 PM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

The Constitutions of CIV will not be compromised by foreigners and the UN. Is that clear? Alassane has to go back to the drawing board with France and design a better plan to topple President Gbagbo. But as far as this election is concerned, the game is over. The Ivorian people are busy attending their daily occupations and nothing will stop them.
Left by STRONGIVORIAN on Jan 09, 2011 5:54 PM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

Mister Fake, you are not making any sense.Your opinion is irrelevent because you are not on the ivorian Constitutional Court. To you their decidion to annul the frauds in the North is arbitraty, to me it was only fair. So you see, we have two different opinion, but at the e4nd of the day, what prevails is the decision of the judges on the Court. That is how democracy functions. Because Ouattara think the decision is unfair is totally irrelevent, he has to abide by the Court decision. He is not above the law, and he cannot substitute his opinion, to a court decision. AL Gore did not think that he lost the elections either, and I am quite sure the US Supreme Court decision to stop the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court was not fair in the opinion of Al Gore. Bu democracy means respect of the COnstitution and the Institutions.
Left by Leo Gnawa on Jan 09, 2011 7:40 PM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

Thank you so much Gary,

I am not Ivorian, but an African that studying politics in the US since recently. Before I viewed your interview at http://www.cotedivoirepr.ci/ and read your pre-shot comments, I was left with no level of trust in the American and French media at all. Just as yourself, the humility, serenity, depiction of the never-told injustices inflicted on him, the loud call and willingness to unite (including his opponents) a CI he has been trusted, and most of all the truthful alacrity when speaking God's place in all -- all prove that President Bgabgo is to RIGHT and to be supported. Thank you for being such a great voice for the abandoned. You have made difference in deceitful times.
Left by AmericanFriend on Jan 10, 2011 12:39 AM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

Thank you AmericanFriend! What Gary did is what President Gbagbo wants the international community to do. Get the facts, the truth then form your opinions. Because your opions based on the truth is wise, whether people agree with them or not. For people to rush to judgement about Pres. Gbagbo without knowing the facts is a typical proof of bad faith. You can't possibly believe most garbage your governments feed you. Because,they have their hiden agendas. So please, look at the election results through the lenses of the Ivorian laws, just like in any other country.Doing otherwise is bad faith and disingenuine. You're just setting yourselves up to be deceived.President Gbagbo is standing by the law. Alassane is betting on the international opinions, whising for foreign military intervention, advocating forceful removal of President Gbagbo.But in the end, the law will prevail.Because the law is with the people of Ivory Coast and the peole are with the law.
Left by STRONGIVORIAN on Jan 10, 2011 2:12 PM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

Guys, thanks for your comprehensive responses.

While I'm afraid we'll have to agree to disagree on many points regarding these elections, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone here and in Ivory Coast all the very best for their future, regardless of what President they end up under.
Left by fakegbagbo on Jan 10, 2011 3:49 PM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

StrongIvorian!
Great to read your response and your insightfulness. I must say you made me slightly confused as to what is your views in Bgabgo! Of course I know all politicians 'have hidden agenda ...'... are you saying I shouldn't have credited Bgabgo for being a 'truthful' speaker in the interview? Gary, himself, was blown to talk to people who did not resemble 'political hacks'!
Listen... such attitudinal choice Bgabgo too during the interview (that i was hailing in my post) was another strong side of his that make him a strong politician.
Like you desire for Outtara to vanish in his French supporter cluster... same as i viewed a different side in Bgabgo.
But the bottom line in all is Bgabgo has ignited a powerful generational resistance to external/unacceptable injustices we (Africa) have, for so long, been victims of.
God bless Africa
Left by AmericanFriend on Jan 11, 2011 12:33 AM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

AmericanFriend. I don't want you or anyone else to be confused. What I'm saying to people is to get the facts so they can form sound judgments about this election,instead of relying on what foreign governments who are against Gbagbo are spreading out there.The generational resitance iniatiated by Gbagbo as you mentioned, should have been done 50 years ago, notwithstanding,corrupted African goverments and neocolonialism. Gbagbo's fight against the French is worth fighting, and Africans must embrace it instead of resisting it. What we have at stake here is the integrity of African institutions. If we allow foreign powers such as France to alienate them now, them we can kiss our true freedom goodbye! Africa don't give up now!
Left by STRONGIVORIAN on Jan 11, 2011 5:52 AM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

THE BULLIES

THAT THE ELECTIONS WERE NOT FAIR.COULD NOT HAVE BEEN FAIR. WHY?
WHAT THE UN SUPERVISION AMOUNTED TO IS ‘FLYING OVER A COUCOU’. AND THIS, UNFORTUNATELY, IS DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE UN AND ITS REPRESENTATIVES HAVE FAILED TO DESARM THE REBEL, FAILED TO SECURE THE FREE MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE AND MEDIA IN THE REBEL CONTROLED PARTS OF THE COUNTRY, THUS CREATING A DE-FACTO DIVIDED COUNTRY. UNDER THE UN INCOMPETENT SUPERVISION THE REBELINC- CRIMINAL ENTREPRISE HAVE FLOURISHED. THEY HAVE TERRORIZED CONTINUOUSLY THE POPULATION, EVEN BEFORE, ON AND AFTER THE DAYS OF THE ELECTION…WHO IN HIS RIGHT MIND CAN THINK THAT THE ELECTIONS COULD HAVE BEEN FAIR FOR SUPPORTERS OF PRESIDENT GBAGBO, THINK OTHERWISE IS DILUSIONAL.
WHILE THE UN ENVOY CLAIMED THAT THE VIOLENCE WAS NOT LIMITED TO THE NORTH, HE DID NOT URGE THE OPPOSITION RHDP TO GO TO THE CONSITITUTIONAL COUNCIL TO CONTEST THE ELECTIONS IN THOSE PARTS. INSTEAD THE UN REPRESENTATIVE- WHO DISMISSED AFRICAN UNION REPRESENTATIVES’ DETAILED
Left by solopa on Jan 13, 2011 11:48 AM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

The truth of the matter is that Mr. Ouattara was caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

In order to maximize his votes, he chose to cheat. He could have probably won without cheating but with the rebels controling the north, he and france could not resist the temptation. However, it was the biggest mistake they made.

Laws are put in place to punish and/or rehabilitate but also deter criminals. For example we have harsh laws and sanctions against attempted murder or rape because we want to let would be criminals know that they will pay the same price as if they succeeded in those crimes.

Ouattara and france were caught cheating in a democratic process. But they want the world to give them a pass. This is why they refuse the recount and investigation. In the democratic process, an attempt to cheat equals automatic disqualification. It is the greatest deterent we have against cheaters.


Left by Chalie K on Jan 26, 2011 2:09 PM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

Charlie K, I totally disagree with you that Ouattara could have no won without cheating. No he could not. That was the only option for him, reason why the UN and France helped him, by keeping the rebels in charge in the North. Ouattara support is limited to the Muslim North and muslim communities elsewhere and they are not the majority in Ivory Coast. Gbagbo's support extend across ethnic, religious and regional boundaries.Ouattara attracted the muslim votes when over ten years ago, he declared that then President Bedie barred him from running because he was Muslim. Ouattara is resented by non-muslims because they think that he brougth violence, division and war to our country. Why is the Obama administration is getting involved in this fraud orchestrated by Sarkozy of France is beyond me.
Left by Leo Gnawa on Feb 02, 2011 12:44 AM

# RE: Why Gbagbo Refuses to Go

All I've ever done on a CBS site is post here on this page. As a result it looks like CBN now think they can forever spam me, even though I've reset my preferences on their site to not wanting to receive anything twice.

"Your e-mail subscription selections have been saved. It may take up to 24 hours for the changes to update within our system," they say but then they don't observe it even after weeks. Shameful.
Left by fakegbagbo on Feb 21, 2011 2:52 PM