Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, 2007

Under Pressure - Laurent Gbagbo (Image via Wikipedia)

By RFI

Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan has ruled out reaching a power-sharing deal in Côte d’Ivoire between incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and presidential contender Alassane Ouattara. Annan told RFI that election results in Côte d’Ivoire were clear and that Gbagbo should step down.

On Tuesday, Gbagbo offered to organise a committee – composed of representatives from African regional blocs and major powers – to study the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire. Annan however shrugs off Gbagbo’s proposal and urges him instead to step down.

Former UN Chief Kofi Annan

Former UN head Kofi Annan  “I don’t know why one needs to investigate something that is very clear. When you enter elections, one contender loses and one wins. And the results have been very clear,” Annan told RFI.

 “Every fair-minded observer has indicated that he lost the election and he has to accept the will of the people,” said Annan.

In Kenya, Annan brokered a peace deal between presidential rivals Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga after disputed elections in 2007. Kibaki was accused of vote-rigging but had quickly sworn himself in. At least 1,300 people died in post-election violence.

Annan insisted that the situation in Kenya was very different to the current crisis in Côte d’Ivoire. “I know people often look to Kenya, but the Kenyan situation was quite different and the solution that was found for Kenya was the right one in my judgement,” he said. In Côte d’Ivoire, “the results were clear and have been universally accepted except by Gbagbo.”

On Wednesday, the World Bank froze financing to Côte d’Ivoire, after talks between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and bank president Robert Zoellick. Annan says diplomatic pressure must be maintained on Gbagbo to force him to step down. “I suspect that in the not-too-distant future, some of the people with him will recognise that they made the wrong choice, a dangerous choice for their country and their people and hopefully they will back away from him.”

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