Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Damana Adia Pickass grabs and tears up the election results in the French Ivory Coast

Source: BBC

Damana Adia Pickass
A supporter of Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo has prevented the electoral commission from releasing the first results from Sunday's run-off.

Damana Adia Pickass, who represents the president in the commission, tore up the results as the body's spokesman was on the verge of announcing them to awaiting journalists.

Wednesday is the legal deadline for the election results to be declared.

The election is supposed to reunify the country divided since a 2002 civil war.

Both former colonial power France and the US have urged the Ivorian authorities to announce the results.

The BBC's John James in the main city Abidjan says it was a moment of drama that illustrates the tension in the country, as rumours circulate alongside unofficial results from Ivory Coast's first presidential election in a decade.

The election commission spokesman Bamba Yacouba had been about to release the results from three of the country's 18 regions.

He said the results had been approved by the commission.

But Mr Pickass denied this, saying there had been an "electoral hold-up", as he seized the paper from Mr Yacouba's hands before tearing them up.

Security forces then forced journalists to leave the commission's headquarters.

There is also a heavy security presence on the streets of Abidjan.

Supporters of opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara have accused President Gbagbo of trying to "confiscate power" by blocking the announcement.

Mr Gbagbo's supporters, however, say they will refuse to recognise the results from the north, where Mr Ouattara is popular and which remains under the control of former rebels, who seized the region in 2002.

International observers have described Sunday's elections as generally fair.

French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie told French radio that "the results must be published today [Wednesday]".

She also said that French forces would be able to intervene if French nationals or interests were affected.

France retains close economic ties to its former colony but Mr Gbagbo's supporters have previously accused France of bias and French targets have been attacked.

Our reporter points out that the UN peacekeeping mission has copies of the results from all the polling centres and will be able to verify if what is published by the commission corresponds to 20,000 individual results.

Both sides have accused each other of intimidation and fraud and at least three people were killed on Sunday.

'Stuffed ballot boxes'

The election commission had said it was to start announcing the rest of the results on Tuesday morning.

But when the results were not released, Mr Ouattara's spokesperson said the delay would "drive the country once again into chaos".

"There is an attempt to prevent the electoral commission from declaring the results. The officials from Laurent Gbagbo's camp have put up resistance," Albert Mabri Toikeusse said.

The head of Mr Gbagbo's party said they had the right to contest the vote in three regions in the north.

"There were results that were forced out of the population; these were results that are totally false, which are the fruit of stuffed ballot boxes, of fraudulent results sheets," Pascal Affi N'Guessan said.

The result is expected to be extremely close - testament to the fact these are the first open democratic elections the country has seen in 50 years since independence.

The two candidates represent the two sides of the north-south divide that exists religiously, culturally and administratively, with the northern half still controlled in part by the New Forces soldiers who took part in the 2002 rebellion, our reporter says.

The elections have been cancelled six times in the past five years.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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