QUOTE]*Originally posted by bbonden *
**wmfellows, ** if tomndebb’s link has any veracity, you have a different sense of “elected” than do I:
From the Economist, 7 Dec. 2000:
" General Guei proceeded to try to steal this election during the counting of the votes, when another opposition politician, Laurent Gbagbo, was in the lead. Mr Gbagbo’s supporters took to the streets and marched bravely at the troops. The soldiers wavered, and withdrew to their barracks. Mr Gbagbo was proclaimed president. But Mr Ouatarra and others demanded a fresh presidential election. This was refused, and fighting broke out in October between Mr Ouatarra’s men and Mr Gbagbo’s, with many people killed."
I added the italics.
I slightly mis-recalled how this ran, but the gist is this fellow Ouattarra was disallowed under a citizenship law for standing for pres. Gbagbo, the current pres. was well in the lead when this Gen Guie, who did a coup to get in power, tried to shut things down.
While the elections then were disputed, and perhaps a rerun might have been preferable, this isn’t a dictatorship in the proper sense of the term. A crappy shaky quasi-democracy, but not a dictatorship (see also below).
As for the rest, well CdI has a mutual defence pact with France, and CdI’s current Gov asked the French in to secure the capital etc.
Froggies came in, but diverted from script I guess the Gov expected - they enforced a cease fire, which all agreed to, but the Gov seems to have tried to violate rather more than the Rebs, excepting the Western Rebs.
Mass demos broke out from Gov supporters in the South when it became clear the Froggies were not going to do the old style help the South squash the North, but try to force a reasonable compromise. CdI’s neighbors have fully supported these actions.
So it looks utterly different than the Iraq situation. Gov asks the Froggies in, per long-standing treaty. Everyone but what seems to be a bunch of yahoos who want inter-ethnic massacres and warfare thinks the French have done a nice, pretty darn peaceful job of mediating – again at all sides request! (Except the Western Rebs, who seem to be a bit off)
I’d take a gander at the Economist’s analysis from 16 Jan 2003 before flapping the gums any more, and I quote from it:
“The talks in Paris will partly concentrate on reforming the controversial Ivorian nationality laws, which have left northern Muslims feeling excluded. But an even fiercer debate will focus on whether to hold an early election. Mr Gbagbo, who was elected in October 2000 in an election generally believed to have been flawed, insists that there should be no new poll until the one due in 2005. But all three rebel groups, and the prominent northern opposition leader, Alassane Ouattara, argue that a transitional government, including the rebels, leading to early elections is the only way to a lasting peace.”
I added the italics.
Oh yeah, the bit about the Froggies and Iraq is a real red-herring. A Saddam free Iraq is probably more likely to pay off old debts than a Saddami Iraq. Whole thing about being good debtors and all that.