The Ivory Coast has just held its presidential election, the most expensive elections in the world and on Thursday December 2 2010 the CEI (independent Election Commission) declared Laurent GBAGBO defeated. The next day, the Constitutional Council, charged by the existing Constitution to proclaim the final results, invalidated the CEI because the CEI published the provisional results more than 72 hours afterwards. The Council, after annulling the votes in 7 departments, particularly in the north and center, proclaimed GBAGBO the winner. The UNOCI [UN mission in the Ivory Coast] and following it the Western powers rejected the results of the Constitutional Council and said they recognize only the results of the CEI with OUATTARA as the one legally elected according to the law of “certification” of elections in the Ivory Coast conferred on it by the Ouagadougou accords. Each protagonist clings to the results that proclaim him the winner. As a result: one country, two Presidents with the danger of a new civil war.
All the people of Benin are interested in these elections and their outcome as there is the matter of electing the President of Benin. The people of Benin are passionate about these elections and have applauded the (almost) defeat of GBAGBO, because for them GBAGBO is tyrant over the people just as his counterpart, Boni YAYI of Benin, is a tyrant and the defeat of the first foreshadows the defeat of the second. The people know that, just like GBAGBO, YAYI is clinging tooth and nail to power and they are eager for such an end to YAYI. This is good and just, except that the two cases are different.
In the Ivory Coast, the French Government and the other Western powers have made their choice of OUATTARA during and after the civil war and support him; in Benin, Boni YAYI is up to now the choice of French imperialism supported by the European Commission and the UN Development Program. In the Ivory Coast, the CEI has the right to give the provisional results. In Benin, the CENA [Autonomous National Electoral Commission], the counterpart of the CEI, does not. Here the CENA’s role is only to collect and compile the results that it transmits to the Constitutional Court, which publishes the provisional results and has the right to nullify votes, receive protests and proclaim the final results. Here, the Constitutional Court is in the hands Robert DOSSOU and Theodore HOLO, agents of French imperialism and supporters of Boni YAYI.
A former President of Benin, KEREKOU, who knows well what he was talking about, said that the President of Benin is not chosen in Benin but in Paris. And this is true in the current African context where elections are carried out by corruption, buying of votes, fraud, intimidation and lies. It is always people supported politically, in the media, financially and sometimes militarily by the dominant imperialism (French in the case of Benin and Ivory Coast) who win or are declared the winner (in the case of Togo, Burkina-Faso and Gabon). And as it is well established in Benin under the Renewal and elsewhere in Africa, in the elections, it is not always the one who has the most votes at the ballot box who is declared the winner by the institutions charged with proclaiming the results; these institutions are used or ignored or put in competition with each other in order to ensure that the preferred candidate wins.
In the case of the Ivory Coast in 2010, the French had made their choice before the election and that was OUATTARA; they have done and are doing everything for him to win and to enter the Presidential Palace to serve their interests. The “international community” has been mobilized for this purpose and it has even invented a new concept: the certification of the result by the UNOCI which places itself above national agencies, as if the Ivory Coast were a protectorate. This interference in the Ivory Coast by foreign powers is certainly inadmissible for every patriot and democrat; this tramples underfoot its sovereignty, interference up to threats of armed interventions.
As to GBAGBO, behind his speech and nationalist airs, he has ended up by giving everything away to the French and other multinationals and no longer has anything to offer. His brutal, tyrannical and corrupt manners eventually wore out numbers of his original followers and made him a worn out and less credible agent for the French; he cannot contain the rebellion created by the French themselves and OUATTARA, and this requires that the latter take the reins to extinguish the flames of war that they themselves lit and to stabilize the country. GBAGBO has been dropped and must leave.
GBAGBO must go but Alassane OUATTARA is an open agent of international financial capital and, as such, is dangerous both for the people of the Ivory Coast and for Africa. He will be no better for the Ivory Coast as is YAYI for Benin.
Cotonou, December 7, 2010
Communist Party of Benin