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Is Ivory Coast’s Gbagbo being a poor sport?

February 11, 2011
Yesterday Ivorian reggae star Alpha Blondy, a staunch
supporter and populariser of incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo,
said in an interview with French paper Liberation that Gbagbo
has to play fair and accept he lost the Nov. 28 election.
His comments reminded me of when I used to repeatly
underperform in cricket at school. The coach consoled me with
the old cliche that sport isn’t about winning but about taking
part and playing fair.
Gbagbo has refused to cede power despite U.N.-certified
electoral commission results that showed his rival Alassane
Ouattara won with 54.1 percent of the vote.
Gbagbo’s camp alleged fraud, despite observers saying there
was no evidence of it, and the pro-Gbabgo constitutional council
cancelled around half a million votes to reverse Ouattara’s win.
While Gbagbo and his supporters may believe they are playing
by the rules, there is international concensus they are not.
The United Nations, West African Regional bloc ECOWAS, the
African Union, the European Union, and the United States are
among those that have condemned the reversal of the results as a
crude attempt to rig the election retrospectively.
U.N. mission chief Y.J. Choi, accepted by all sides as the
referee before the polls, blew the whistle on Gbagbo, showed him
the red card and told him to hit the showers. He refused.
“Gbagbo is still my candidate, but if you’ve lost, you’ve
lost. That’s fair play,” Alpha Blondy told the paper.
It’s interesting that, whether in sport or politics, so many
supporters of a side don’t share Alpha Blondy’s view that fair
play is more important than winning.
When Uruguay striker Luis Suarez blocked a goal with his
hand in the last minute of the world cup quarter finals game
with Ghana last year, enabling them to win, he became a national
hero in Uruguay, where very few felt that he had brought shame
on their team by cheating.
Similarly, many Gbagbo supporters who may acknowledge he
lost the poll fair and square still back his refusal to go.
“There are those who know that he lost who have allowed
themselves to be convinced that Ouattara … should never be
allowed to head Ivory Coast,” analyst Giles Yabi wrote on
Afrik.com last week.
Winning, it seems, is more important than playing fair.
But it raises the question: how many of the 46.9 percent of
Ivorians who voted for Gbagbo would rather have seen him bow out
gracefully like a true sportsman?

Yesterday Ivorian reggae star Alpha Blondy, a staunch supporter and populariser of incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, said in an interview with French paper Liberation that Gbagbo has to play fair and accept he lost the Nov. 28 election.

Alpha Blondy supported Gbagbo, but says he needs to step down after losing a Nov. 28 election.

His comments reminded me of when I used to repeatly underperform in cricket at school. The coach consoled me with the old cliche that sport isn’t about winning but about taking part and playing fair.

Gbagbo has refused to cede power despite U.N.-certified electoral commission results that showed his rival Alassane Ouattara won with 54.1 percent of the vote.

Gbagbo’s camp alleged fraud, despite observers saying there was no evidence of it, and the pro-Gbabgo constitutional council cancelled around half a million votes to reverse Ouattara’s win.

While Gbagbo and his supporters may believe they are playing by the rules, there is international concensus they are not.

The United Nations, West African Regional bloc ECOWAS, the African Union, the European Union, and the United States are among those that have condemned the reversal of the results as a crude attempt to rig the election retrospectively.

U.N. mission chief Y.J. Choi, accepted by all sides as the referee before the polls, blew the whistle on Gbagbo, showed him the red card and told him to hit the showers. He refused.

“Gbagbo is still my candidate, but if you’ve lost, you’ve lost. That’s fair play,” Alpha Blondy told the paper.

It’s interesting that, whether in sport or politics, so many supporters of a side don’t share Alpha Blondy’s view that fair play is more important than winning.

When Uruguay striker Luis Suarez blocked a goal with his hand in the last minute of the world cup quarter finals game with Ghana last year, enabling them to win, he became a national hero in Uruguay, where very few felt that he had brought shame on their team by cheating.

Similarly, many Gbagbo supporters who may acknowledge he lost the poll fair and square still back his refusal to go.

“There are those who know that he lost who have allowed themselves to be convinced that Ouattara … should never be allowed to head Ivory Coast,” analyst Giles Yabi wrote on Afrik.com last week.

Winning, it seems, is more important than playing fair.

But it raises the question: how many of the 46.9 percent of Ivorians who voted for Gbagbo would rather have seen him bow out gracefully like a true sportsman?

Comments

Imagine if you agree to play in a competition and at the end they change the organizers change the rules.
That is what happenned with Gbagbo.
By law Gbagbo won. UN changed the rules and made Ouatara the elected president.
Why and how?
Gbagbo is a very smart guy. He has tricked the UN to finance an election without having any power over it. The UN and the president of the neighbor Burkina Faso have been tricked to certify the Ouagadogu Agreement.

The agreement allowed the 2 heirs of the dead Dictator Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Ouatara and Bedie, to run for the higher Office. Both men had tried to win the power by election and by Coup d’Etat in different ocasions since 1999.
The agreement gave SORO, the Chef of the rebels, who works for Ouatara, the title of Prime Minister and the free ride on the organizationa of the elections using UN money. He spent around 100 dollars per vote.

But Gbagbo is a University professor and has read the Constitution of Ivory Coast before to sign anything.The Code Electoral was written according to the Constitution. Everybody signned aparentlly without reading it.
Gbagbo believed that the Constitution and the law would protect him from the possible fraud by the organizers. (or for the ones, who doubt his nationalist personna, to keep some manipulation margin)
His evil plan was just to apply the laws of his own country.

Well when the results came, the UN realized that they had no legal alternatives.
So the UN decided to ignore the rules they had agree upon.
They decided to put the word and opinion of their representant above the Constitution and the Higher Court of the Country.
The UN changed the RULES of the game.
That Gbagbo was not expecting.

Once Ouatara steps on power, there will be no more Constitution valid in Ivory Coast. It will be a Championship without written rules. The owner of the ball will dictate how things should be cone.

Posted by expatinafrica | Report as abusive
 

interesting comment, I am sure there are many levels to the story. However, in Ukraine 2004 Yanukovych was ruled to have rigged and the opponent won. Yanukovych apparently said later (2009) that he had been robbed of the election but preferred this to seeing bloodshed: “I didn’t want dead bodies from Kiev to flow down the Dnipro. I didn’t want to assume power through bloodshed.” Should 1 citizen die to keep a leader in power?

Posted by TomMinney | Report as abusive
 

“But Gbagbo is a University professor ” loooool! Sorry I know I am being disrespectful but that is the biggest joke ever.
More like he purchased his degree. Have you heard him speak in the debate they had? Well nothing above a grade 4 level of edu sorry to say.
And I am saying this as an African, born and bred, as a person who has lived in many diff African countries and ‘developed’ countries & as someone who is living in IC.

No election on this planet is EVER fair. There’s always something going on behind the scenes.

But at the end of the day. Ouatara vs Gbagbo : who cares!
The country needs a leader, and Gbagbo has stuffed it up nicely for IC and for the rest of Africa to play the game he is playing. Now presidents all over Africa are saying to themselves, “Well if he can get away with it then why can’t we?”. He has very successfully put us right back into the dark ages while the rest of the world laughs their head off at us.
Thanx oh genius Gbagbo.

I mean stealing money from the central bank? come on.

IF he WAS educated – he would know that his actions have ever lasting consequences. Sustainable development is the key.
Now thousands of businesses have pulled out their contracts and are closing up ‘shop’; say goodbye to the money injection they were going to receive this year. sigh. I mean the country for the first time since 2005 was just declared as a “family posting”, that has HUGE implications for the country, it was on its way up! Now its just on its way down, and fast.

What about the poor ppl in IC? Have you thought about them? They are dying of cholera and now are seriously on the verge of major hunger.

Great legacy left behind. *clap hands*

Posted by stlc | Report as abusive
 

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