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Gbagbo sworn in as Ivory Coast president

Gbagbo sworn in as Ivory Coast president
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Despite warnings of major civil unrest, Laurent Gbagbo has defied international pressure and been sworn in for another term as Ivory Coast president.

His victory has been rejected by the US, the UN, the EU, including former colonial power France, and the West African regional body ECOWAS.

The election commission had earlier said that opposition leader Alassane Outarra had won. But then the Constitutional Council, whose head is a close ally of Gbagbo, overturned that.

Outarra said: “The special representative of the General Secretary of the United Nations has just certified the results proclaimed by the Independent Electoral Commission, which is proclaiming me winner of the presidential elections.”

But Laurent Gbagbo maintains he was the rightful winner. The Constitutional Council claims the election commission’s initial announcement was not legal as a deadline for the results had passed. It later scrapped hundreds of thousands of votes, ruling there had been intimidation and vote rigging.

“We’re very worried,” said one man in Abidjan. “Imagine, since Monday nothing’s functioning, the economy’s come to a halt, people aren’t working. It’s very worrying.”

The army seems to have accepted Gbagbo’s victory, while former rebels in the north say they back Outarra’s claim to power. At least 15 people have died in post-election violence.