I was invited last week to Radio Univers to discuss la Cote d’Ivoire. I gave my opinions, some of which have since changed, and shared my hope, which still abide my breast.
Laurent Gbagbo has recently appointed legal representation. He shose the lawyer who also represented former US President Bill Clinton. That was on the BBC today. The attorney expressed views that are consistent with my current views on the impass.
Do nations have constitutions? Yes, they do. Do they have bad ones? Certainly! In la Cote d’Ivoire, their constitution provides that a residual arm will declare and swear in the elected President.
That is a bad arrangement, yet the stakeholders went into the elections under those provisions. I appreciate that arrangements were made concerning certification of results that made for inclusiveness among all interested parties, both local and international. However, if all of these fall short of constitutional amendments, then the current constitutional procedures have to be respected before challenged.
But they must be challenged. We must ensure that the nation gets better electoral legislation. We must also ensure that we do not encourage a disregard for the constitution that may fuel future abuses of the legal regime by selfish politicians.
I believe that the opposition candidate My Ouatarra should be the President, but I recognise that presently, Mr Gbagbo is legally the President. He is not morally or democratically legitimate in any way, but his President is wholly legal.
Negotiations must begin on a note of respect; respect that acknowledges that he is the legal leader of the nation as provided for by the highest law of the land, and then progress can be made to install the legitimate Presided as provided for by the express will of the people.
A review, as Mr Gbagbo has called for, is necessary. We must verify that the Constitutional Court was wrong in its determination that some results needed to be annulled. We must also verify that no breaches of human rights lawas, local and international, have been made, and we must make arrangements to bring either case to redress.
My humble opinion.
We look on in hope, and watch in prayer.