n Journal of African Elections - Côte d'Ivoire's post-electoral crisis : Ouattara rules but can he govern?




The post-electoral crisis in Côte d'Ivoire reached its boiling point with a brief, yet devastating armed confrontation between the national security and defence forces loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo and the Republican Forces of Côte d'Ivoire (FRCI) who supported his rival, Alasane Dramane Ouattara. The confrontation led to the capture of Gbagbo, with French troops playing an active role, under the aegis of a UN mandate. The situation has raised questions about the legitimacy of the UN intervention and of Ouattara's ascent to power. The recourse to military means to oust Gbagbo came as diplomatic initiatives, including a resolution by the African Union to resolve the crisis peacefully, were resisted and resented by Gbagbo's entourage, while the security situation deteriorated rapidly. A key question, therefore, given the controversial UN intervention, is related to the ability of the new president to govern the country effectively and to address the main problems that have caused the descent of the former beacon of stability into political violence.


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