- Title: IVORY COAST: Incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo says world can review poll
- Date: 23rd December 2010
- Summary: ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST (DECEMBER 22, 2010) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF STREET SCENES WITH PEOPLE AND TRAFFIC
- Embargoed: 7th January 2011 12:00
- Location: Cote d'Ivoire
- Country: Ivory Coast
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA3QUPEIC47PVEG2KCPM7HEF3OX
- Story Text: Ivory Coast's incumbent leader, Laurent Gbagbo, on Tuesday (December 21) invited an international committee to re-examine the results of a disputed election, to avoid a bitter power struggle with his rival escalating into civil war.
Gbagbo said in an address on state television the committee could be made of all the major international actors.
"This committee will be run by a representative of the African Union and inclusive of representatives of the CEDEAO, the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), the Arab League, the United Nations as well as the United States, the European Union, Russia and China and will have the mission of objectively analysing the electoral process so that the crisis can be resolved peacefully," Gbagbo said.
All have recognised his rival Alassane Ouattara as winner.
"I don't want another war, I don't want anymore Ivorian blood to be spilled," Gbagbo said.
But Ivory Coast's presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara rejected on Wednesday (December 22) the incumbent leader's offer of an international investigation into the disputed election as a political "game".
Ivory Coast's Nov. 28 presidential election was intended to heal the scars of a 2002-03 war but has instead triggered a violent standoff between Gbagbo and Ouattara, with the latter recognised as victor by the outside world.
As security deteriorated further, Nigeria evacuated all its diplomats from Ivory Coast after its embassy was attacked. France also advised all its citizens to leave the country.
In his speech on Ivorian TV Gbagbo has refused again to step down despite international pressure and sanctions backed by world leaders. He implied those close to him will fight to the death rather than give up power.
"They (the opposition) want to terrorise us but one mustn't think that the people who have the law in their hands will give in to those who have taken the unlawful path. Those who respect the constitution will give their life to defend it and will not give in to those who want to usurp the fundamentals of our republic and democracy," he said, Gbagbo is supported by the Constitutional Council and still has the support of the army.
Scores have been killed in post poll violence, many by death squads targeting Ouattara supporters at night, according to the United Nations and human rights groups.
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