Speech from the President Gbagbo-Tuesday december 21s

23 Déc

Ivorians

My fellow citizens

Dear Friends of Côte d’Ivoire.

On Friday December 3rd 2010, the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire proclaimed the final results of the Presidential election of November 28th 2010. These results have been made public in the country as well as outside our borders.

I was the winner of the November 28th election runoff with 51.45 % of the vote. I am the elect President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.

I wish to thank all my fellow citizens to have renewed their trust in me.

Consistent with article 39 of our Constitution I was sworn in before the Constitutional Council in its solemn session on Saturday December 4th 2010, at the Presidential Palace.

On Monday December 6th, I appointed a new Prime Minister and the first Council of Ministers of my new term in office took place on Tuesday December 7th 2010 at the Presidential Palace.

Immediately after, it was business as usual in the country. The security measures in force during the electoral period were lifted or lightened. Our borders were reopened and the curfew hours re-adjusted. The State is at work and our economy back on track.

During this process, I scrupulously obeyed the provisions of our Constitution. The large majority of my fellow citizens have responsibly decided to keep within the law which ensures the democratic functioning of the Institutions of the Republic.

I wish to thank each and every one of you for your strong commitment to our nation and to the institutions on which the Republic stands.

I, thus hold accountable for the killings, burnings, lootings perpetrated during the insurrectionary march of the RHDP on December 16th 2010, all those inside as well as outside the country who have decided to act against the Ivorian laws. They are waging a war against us, not because we did prevent them from expressing their constitutional and democratic right, but they want to deny our people its sovereign right to choose its leaders, to respect its institutions and live in a free country.

Indeed, according to our laws the Independent Electoral Commission organizes the elections and proclaims provisional results. Only the Constitutional Council has the exclusive and ultimate responsibility to proclaim the final and definitive results. Article 59 indent 2 of the electoral code states that the Independent Electoral Commission

oversees electoral mechanics and all the voting operations and proclaims provisional results in the presence of the representatives of the candidates”.

In a circular made public on November 13th 2010, the Independent Electoral Commission itself indicated that “the proclamation of the total results by the Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission takes place during a public session in the presence of all the members of the Central Commission”

Instead of abiding by these procedures, what did the nation witness?

On Thursday December 2nd 2010, Mr. Youssouf Bakayoko, Chair of the Independent Electoral Commission is seen unexpectedly at the Golf Hotel, Headquarter of the opposition leader. In these premises, all alone, without the presence of the members of the Central Commission nor the representatives of the candidates, he unilaterally proclaimed the results of the presidential election in total violation of all the legal provisions governing the conduct of the Independent Electoral Commission.

It is quite obvious that these results are null and void. And it is based on such results that the international community declares war to our country. This is unacceptable and shall not be accepted.

The truth is that at the end of the second round of the presidential election, the Independent Electoral Commission was unable to proclaim the provisional results within the 72 hour mandate allotted to it by the law of the Republic after the closing of the polls. It rather served to the world an afflicting spectacle of an institution which became deadlocked over its own internal contradictions being made of representatives of political parties and the armed rebellion.

The Independent Electoral Commission failed to discharge its mission. The Constitutional Council then seizes the matter. And this is exactly what it did.

Let me remind you that the Independent Electoral Commission is an administration body whereas the Constitutional Council is the supreme election judicial authority in Côte D’Ivoire. The two institutions are not the same and do not have the same prerogatives. It is therefore unlawful to put them on the same footing. The natures of their decisions are different. They do not have the same base nor the same significance. According to the provisions of article 2 of the electoral Code, the missions of the Independent Electoral Commission are as follows: It

  • guarantees to all voters the right and the freedom to vote all across the entire national territory;
  • Oversees the proper conduct of voting, counts the ballots and records the votes;
  • Collects the voting reports and centralizes the results;
  • proclaims the provisional or final results of all elections except the presidential election and the referendum for which the final proclamation of the results is the exclusive competence of the Constitutional Council;

 

My fellow Citizens,

Dear friends of Côte d’Ivoire,

The Election of November 28th 2010 is indeed a presidential election. It would have been proper to wait for the decision of the Constitutional Council to know the results and thus, the winner of the runoff. I have waited for the legal decision to be stated.

The social unrest that claims many deaths in our country derives from the declarations aiming at leading people to believe that the position of President of the Republic can be granted to someone other than the one proclaimed winner by the Constitutional Council.

We are paying a heavy price from these social unrests. On Thursday December 16th , alone, we registered 20 deaths including 10 members of the armed and security forces of the Republic killed with bullets.

I pay my respect and tribute to our soldiers killed on the battle field with honor.

My respect also goes to all the people who lost their lives that day.

They are our martyrs, the martyrs of the Republic. They died while fighting for the respect of our Constitution and the institutions on which our nation stands.

I wish a speedy recovery to all those who are wounded and under medical treatments. My heart also goes to all our people, they are numerous, whose properties were looted and burned down.

They want to terrorize us. But no one should believe that the legalists will surrender to those who have chosen the path of unlawful deeds. Those who respect the Constitution and give their lives to defend it will never cede power to those who want to undermine the foundation of the Republic and democracy.

My positions on the accessing to power are known. For me, we must not seek power for the sake of it. We should not use power to make people suffer.

I do not want blood to be shed. I do not want the blood of even one Ivorian to be shed. I do not want a war in my country that will escalate and reach neighboring countries and weaken them.

I am willing and ready, in the respect of the constitution, of our laws and the mechanisms freely established in our country to host a monitoring committee to review the post electoral crisis in Côte d’Ivoire. This committee, chaired by a representative of the African Union should include representatives from ECOWAS, the Economic and Monetary Union of West African States (UEMOA), the Arab League, the United Nations, the United States of America, the European Union, Russia and China. Its mission will be to objectively analyze the facts and the electoral process for a peaceful resolution of the current crisis.

This monitoring committee should also include willing Ivorians.

I call upon all the leaders who are still living at the Golf Hotel to return home. Nobody forced them to take refuge there. Nobody will prevent them from leaving this hotel. They are free of their movements.

I call upon you, my fellow citizens to remain disciplined. We asked for the departure of the UN Forces and the French troops which sustain them. Our request was made diplomatically and it through the diplomatic channel that we will obtain satisfaction. It is of paramount importance for our sovereignty that they leave.

I call upon our youth to remain calm. The UN and the French forces will depart from Côte d’Ivoire but we do not want to regret any more deaths, unnecessarily. We still have in mind the horrific memories of the events of November 2004 and today 2010.

As I did in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, I am stretching out, today again, my hand to the opposition, to Mr. Ouattara, as well as to his ally, the rebellion.

I believe and trust in our ability to build a nation in peace, democracy and prosperity.

Let us all depart from the path of war and violence and set an agenda for progress in peace.

May God bless Côte d’Ivoire

God bless You my people

God bless Africa

I thank you

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