Election Problems in the Ivory Coast
With the civil war in the Ivory Coast pushing a new election date from 2005 to 2010, the country was restless to put into place an effective government that would end the fighting and establish a unified country. However, the election of 2010 presented a new set of problems that would plague the politics of the nation. Held in two voting rounds in October and November of 2010, the two candidates were the incumbent President Gbagbo and the former Prime Minister Ouattara. The support for the two candidates were severely divided, with Gbago receiving most of the votes in the south of the country and Outtara being the favorite in the north.
Because there was a great deal of doubt surrounding the validity of the elections, it came as no surprise that the results would be in question. The initial count found that Outtara was the winner, but the Independent Electoral Commission named Gbagbo as the victor. Both candidates claimed that they had won the election and both proceeded to take the oath of presidency as the first step to establishing control of the nation. Although international support has backed Outtara as the true winner of the election, Gbagbo has refused to step down.
As a result of the botched election process, the Ivory Coast has seen a number of sanctions levied against the country that are meant to be held until Outtara officially takes the office of the president. The United Nations has maintained a peacekeeping force in the country and all World Bank loans have been halted until the situation is resolved. This has led to an international surge in the price of cocoa, which is a large export of the Ivory Coast. To prevent any violence against foreigners, a travel alert has been placed on the nation and travelers are advised to avoid going into the Ivory Coast if at all possible.