President Laurent Gbagbo has been declared the winner in the latest dramatic turnaround in Ivory Coast’s disputed election.
His defeat had been announced earlier but, in a move set to heighten confusion and tension, the Constitutional Council has now overturned those provisional results.
According to the election commission on Thursday, presidential challenger Alassane Ouattara won the vote. His supporters have warned of a possible return to civil war should that result be invalidated.
But that is exactly what has happened after the Constituational Council, headed by a staunch Gbagbo ally, cancelled votes from four regions in Ouattara’s rebel-held northern stronghold.
The challenger’s camp is adamant it won’t accept the Constitutional Council’s reversal. Ouattara’s campaign chief Amadou Gon Coulibaly accused President Gbagbo of wanting to plunge the country into chaos again. “It is not acceptable,” he said.
The UN mission chief in Ivory Coast also refuses to accept the turnaround. There has already been election-related violence and, as tension rises, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council are reportedly planning to endorse the original results, naming Ouattara as the victor.