One Country, Two Presidents: Ivory Coast’s Political Crisis

With two rival candidates having declared themselves winners of Ivory Coast’s November 28 presidential election, the government remains paralyzed. Many people in this West African nation fear violence, reports Reuters

Both incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo and opposition challenger Alassane Ouattara held swearing-in ceremonies and claim to be running the country. Gbagbo still controls the presidential palace and government buildings, according to Reuters. Ouattara is operating a parallel administration from a hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s largest city.

The African Union, the United Nations, and world leaders such as President Obama recognize Ouattara as the winner based on election commission results. But the country’s highest legal authority, the Constitutional Council, has declared Gbagbo the victor, backing his allegations of election fraud.

The African Union is mediating the crisis. Washington is prepared to impose sanctions on Gbagbo and his family if he fails to recognize Ouattara as the election winner.

SOS Children’s Villages Not Currently Affected

Ivory Coast, in French known as Côte d’Ivoire, (the country gained independence from France in 1960), lies on the Atlantic Ocean between Liberia and Ghana. It is the world’s largest cocoa producer, but poverty and illiteracy rates are high, leaving children with families who are unable to raise them.

SOS Children’s Villages has been giving love, warm homes, and schooling to vulnerable children in Côte d’Ivoire for almost four decades. Local SOS staff report that the charity’s two Children’s Villages are so far unaffected by the current political crisis. But residents worry about an escalation of violence. Ouattara’s supporters have been protesting on the streets and last week four people were killed in clashes in Abidjan.

For security reasons, SOS-Ivory Coast has revised the working hours of its staff in both Abobo-Gare and Aboisso to guarantee that they can get to and from work safely.

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Photo credit: wikimedia commons
By Kyna Rubin, SOS Children's Villages

14 comments

Tori   INACTIVE W.
Past Member 5 years ago

no actually this is far more like our governor chrissie...to win...she kept demanding recounts and finally had added in votes from the dead and felons..so that she could finally decide she was the winner...it's the same thing here...anything to grab the election and be the WINNER!!!! maybe it's just a relative of chrissie....

jane richmond
jane richmond5 years ago

Did they count the hanging chads?

Robert O.
Robert O.5 years ago

How terrible for them. Thank you.

Charlene R.
Charlene Rush5 years ago

AND, we think we have problems!

Adam K.
Douglas K.5 years ago

Take it to the World Court to resolve the dispute.

Past Member
Keith F.5 years ago

There is an oddity about this situation. Theincumbent president is claiming electoral fraud. Usually it is the challenger,as the incumbent controls the adminsitration and is morelikely to be able to engage in 'ballot-box stuffing' andotherelectoral frauds.

Lynn C.
Lynn C.5 years ago

How to know the real story....It would take a lot more on-the-ground reporting to understand what's going on.

Catherine H.
Catherine H.5 years ago

Fraud @ Election time in Africa is common practice . Wish they'd be honest for once.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L.5 years ago

One more country in trouble.

Kathleen B.
Kathleen B.5 years ago

Thanks.