- Title: IVORY COAST: POLITICS - Opposition challenges president's rule
- Date: 14th February 2010
- Summary: ABIDJAN, IVORY-COAST (FEBRUARY 13, 2010 (REUTERS) EXTERIORS OF OPPOSITION HEADQUATERS, WOMEN OUTSIDE SHOUTING ''GBAGBO DEHORS'' (GBAGBO OUT) VARIOUS OF IVORY COAST'S OPPOSITION COALITION (RHDP) IN CONFERENCE ROOM OPPOSITION MEMBERS IN ROOM (SOUNDBITE) (French) OPPOSITION COALITION (RHDP) SPOKESMAN ALPHONSE DJEDJE MADY SAYING: "Mr Gbagbo's decisions are anti-democratic and anticonstitutional and constitute a real coup d'etat. In consequence of this announcement the opposition coalition RHDP proclaims that we no longer recognise Mr Laurent Gbagbo as the head of state of Ivory Coast'' VARIOUS OF PARTI DEMOCRATIQUE DE COTE D'IVOIRE (PDCI) BUILDING VARIOUS OF LEADER OF PDCI YOUTH WING KONAN KOUADIO BERTIN ADRESSING THE YOUTH (SOUNDBITE) (French) LEADER OF PDCI YOUTH WING KONAN KOUADIO BERTIN SAYING: ''It is time to start the process of the departure of the president Laurent Gbagbo.Here is the watchword that is clear,and in all the territory,the young should follow it and demonstrate their anger to show the way to liberate Ivory Coast'' WOMEN SHOUTING ''GBAGBO OUT''
- Embargoed: 1st March 2010 12:00
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA7BQSJ4FHX9S76PLUGGMD9SPGF
- Story Text: Ivory Coast's coalition of opposition said they no longer recognised Laurent Gbagbo as president of the country on Saturday (February 13) after he dissolved the government and electoral commission.
The top cocoa grower's leading opposition parties, who accused Gbagbo of staging a coup with the decision, said supporters should reject the president and called on the security forces to "conform scrupulously with their republican mission".
They did not elaborate on that call, and no clarification was immediately available. Police units tear-gassed about 100 opposition supporters trying to gather in the streets of Abidjan, Ivory Coast's main city, shortly after the statement.
Gbagbo dissolved the government and election body on Friday in a row over the preparation of voter lists ahead of long-delayed polls meant to end the nation's political crisis.
"In consequence of this announcement, the (opposition coalition) RHDP proclaims that we no longer recognise Mr Laurent Gbagbo as the head of state of Ivory Coast," said a statement read out by opposition leader Alphonse Djedje Mady.
The parties of Henri Konan Bedie and Alassane Ouattara, Gbagbo's leading challengers, signed off on the statement.
"(We) will not recognise the new election commission, nor the new government," the opposition parties added.
The elections are needed to end years of instability and stalemate after a 2002-2003 war that divided the country, leaving rebels running the north hands despite various peace deals. Gbagbo has a firm grip on soldiers in the south Gbagbo's announcement on Friday night is certain to delay the vote, which is already more than four years overdue and central to reforms aimed at helping the ailing cocoa sector.
Nothing in a peace agreement signed in 2007 gives Gbagbo the authority to dissolve the electoral commission, which is independent of all the warring factions. In his address, he invoked an article of the constitution to justify it.
Prime Minister Guillaume Soro must pick a new government on Monday but the process of choosing an electoral commission boss could be long and drawn out, as all parties to the conflict are supposed to agree on the appointment.
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