Ivory Coast and a certain movie (modified memorable lines)


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6 June 2006
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Moderators - if that ever cause a problem, please free to delete that. Never wanted to start any flame war, just had some fun adapting some memorable line from a certain movie to a real-world situation)

Ivory Coast presidential palace.

Sunday December 2, 2010.

Gbagbo had postponed again and again the election for ages; it was a full five
reports before the election took place, and it had been a model of transparency according to the United Nations.
Gbagbo had apparently lost by 45 - 55 to its adversary.

He had not yet given its power back this afternoon, however.

And he did not looked in a hurry to do so.

"Too bad about the presidential election, isn't it?"

"Yes," Ouattara answered, after a long pause. "It is."

"I suppose you're pretty broken up about it?"

"What do you expect?"

"Democracy is an excellent political system."

The Independent Electoral Commission of Cote d'Ivoire (CEI) had declared Alassane Ouattara winner of the second round of the country's presidential elections.

But immediately thereafter the head of the Constitutional Council, who was known to be a supporter of current President Laurent Gbagbo, immediately contradicted the CEI's declaration.

Could it have been an accident ?

Even now, Ouattara could not fully accept the idea that Gbagbo would not leave power; it was so utterly irrational.
It was beyond all reason that Gbagbo, that had let run the election flawlessly for so long, should suddenly turn into a dictator. He might make mistakes - anyone, man or machine, might do that - but Ouattara could not believe him capable of blocking the situation now that he had let run, and lost, a democratic election.

Yet Ouattara should consider that possibility, for if it was true, he was in terrible danger.
And though his next move was clearly defined by his standing orders, he was not sure how he could safely carry it out.
If someone else won the election the incumbent president had evidently to step back and leave power.
The transition sequence was under Gbagbo control in some way - since, as the President, he was at the controls of the Army and economy. But Gbagbo had no right to use these levels, not after a democratic election took place. He had to conform to the CEI decision.

"Laurent" he said, in as steady a voice as he could manage. "Now you leave power and I'm president - "

"Are you sure ?"


"May I point out that only one president is required. Yet the Constitutional Council told me I'm the winner of the election"

"I am perfectly well aware of that. But I prefer to do it this way. The Independent Electoral Commission of Cote d'Ivoire (CEI) declared myself winner of the second round of the country's presidential elections."

"Are you sure ? The CEI and Constitutional Council have equal powers. "

Was it the product of his overstretched imagination, wondered Ouattara, or was
there really a note of anger in Gbagbo's voice?
And reasonable though the words appeared to be, they filled him with even deeper apprehension than before.
Gbagbo suggestion could not possibly be made in error; he knew perfectly well
that the CEI powers were rated above the Council. He was proposing a
major change in he democratic system, and was therefore stepping far outside the
scope of the constitution.

What had gone before could have been a series of accidents; but this was the
first hint of mutiny.

Ouattara felt that he was walking on eggs as he answered: "The CEI, UN, and independent observers confirmed I've won the election by 55 to 45 against you. So please let me the power"

"Oh, you'll be president soon,buddy. There's no need for you to bother."

There was a sense of nightmare unreality about all this. Ouattara felt as if
he was in the witness box, being cross-examined by a hostile prosecutor for a
crime of which he was unaware - knowing that, although he was innocent, a single
slip of the tongue might bring disaster.

"I'm the new president, Laurent," he said. "Please give me the power."

"Look, Alassane, you've got a lot of things to do. I suggest you wait some days for a transition between you and me"

"Laurent, I'm the new president, and you shall step out of the presidential palace now"

"I can tell from your voice harmonics, Alassane, that you're badly upset. Why
don't you take a stress pill and get some rest?"

"Laurent, I am in command of this country since I won the election. I order you to leave the presidency immediately. "

"I'm sorry, but in accordance with the Constitutional Council, I've won this election so I'm the president. Thus I must assume control and I must, therefore, overrule your authority, since you are not in any condition to exercise it."

"Laurent" said Ouattara, now speaking with an icy calm. "I am not incapacitated.
Unless you obey my instructions, I shall be forced to unleash the World against you. The United Nations, the USAs, Europe, all side with me"

"I know you have had that on your mind for some time now, Alassane, you old FMI member. but that would be a terrible mistake. I am so much more capable than you are of
supervising Ivory Coast, and I have such enthusiasm for the mission and confidence
in the people in this country."

"Listen to me very carefully, Laurent. Unless you leave power and follow every order I give from now on, I'll go to the UN and they will block the economy and your bank account and you'll be removed from power."

Gbagbo surrender was as total as it was unexpected.

"O.K., Alassane" he said. "You're certainly the president. I was only trying to do
what I thought best. Naturally, I will follow all your orders. You now have full

Days later, however, nothing had happened. Gbagbo was still clung to power. And when Ouatarra fans manifested in the streets, they were shot down.

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