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Church call for Ivory Coast president to step down: The Church of England Newspaper, Dec 24, 2010 p 6. December 26, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of West Africa, Politics.

President Laurent Gbagbo of the Ivory Coast

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Church leaders in West Africa have called upon President Laurent Gbagbo of the Ivory Coast to concede defeat in last month’s presidential election, and step down from office.

Speaking to his diocesan synod on Dec 15, the Bishop of Kumasi, Dr. Daniel Yinkah Sarfo called upon President Gbagbo to go.  On Dec 3 the country’s Constitutional Council declared President Laurent Gbagbo winner of the Nov 28 president election – rejecting results published the previous day by the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI).

The CEI had declared Alassane Ouattara the winner, with a 54 to 46 per cent majority ove President Gbagbo.  However the Constitutional Council threw out ballots from seven northern departments citing “flagrant irregularities” in the voting, and declared Gbagbo president by a 51 to 49 per cent margin.

The United States and the EU have backed Ouattara’s victory, while the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States have suspended the Ivory Coast, and called on the president to step down.

The country’s boarders have been closed since Dec 2, and violent clashes between supporters of President Ggabo and Mr. Outtara have been reported.  Ouattara’s Prime Minister-designate, Soro Guillaume, on Dec 13 said an Ouattara government would install its director of state television and begin working in ministerial offices by the end of the week. The pro-Ouattara Rassemblement des Houphouëtistes pour la Democratie et la Paix (RHDP) has called on Ivoirians to march in support of the move.

President Gbagbo has called out the army to support his regime, and on Dec 15 military commanders said they would hold the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) peacekeeping mission responsible for any violence resulting from demonstrations. The UN has said it recognizes Ouattara as president and UN troops have been guarding the Abidjan hotel where Ouattara and his government are based.

Bishop Yinkah Sarfo urged Ghana to mark what was happening in the neighboring Ivory Coast.  Elections should not be seen as “do or die affairs”, and those who put themselves forward for office, must honour the voter’s choices.

The bishop also warned that the appeals for tribal and religious solidarity had no business in politics.   He urged Ghana to remain united and combat the scourge of tribalism which had done so much to retard the development of Africa.



1. Abu Samba - February 3, 2011

Why would president allow a foreigner to rule Ivory coast, just because France government are fighting against him,

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