Sunday, February 6, 2011

If It Worked For Gbagbo...

The Ivory Coast (or Cote d'Ivoire if you prefer the Francophone version of the name) is now in its third month of being a country with two presidents as the defeated incumbent Laurnet Gbagbo still insists he is still the legitimate ruler of the country, while his opponent, Alassane Ouattara – the guy who actually won the election – remains holed up in a luxury hotel guarded by UN troops. While most governments across Africa are viewing this as a crisis, one politician is seeing an opportunity. So two years after his own apparent defeat at the polls, Gabon's Andre Mba Obame has had himself sworn in as Gabon's president.

Of course Obame has long insisted that the 2009 poll was fraudulent, with the outcome rigged to elect his opponent, Ali Bongo. Ali Bongo is the son of Omar Bongo, who ruled the southwestern African nation for 41 years before his death in 2009. Needless to say the government of Ali Bongo is not amused by Obame's move. According to the Global Post, Obame has been charged with treason and his National Unity party disolved; probably not the outcome Obame was hoping for when he had himself sworn in as president. Rather Obame was gambling that the wave of democratic uprisings sweeping Africa and the Mid-East would spread down to Gabon and sweep him into power. Unfortunately for Mr. Obame, so far though they haven't.
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