from Africa in Transition

Setting Back Democracy

December 9, 2010

Blog Post
Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

More on:

Sub-Saharan Africa

Elections and Voting

Ivory Coast

Heads of State and Government

Put together, all these events have effectively dashed the initial hopes for the deepening and broadening of the democratic space in Africa.

Says Alexactus T. Kaure today in the Namibian about the recent failure of the electoral process in a number of African states. Nowhere is his point more obvious than the current electoral crisis in Cote d’Ivoire.

The failure of the elections in Cote d’Ivoire illustrates how little leverage the international community has. Even though elections were credible Gbagbo has defied the results and international opinion, and held onto power. The international community with remarkable unanimity has condemned Gbagbo. The United States and others are considering sanctions. African organizations--the Afircan Union and ECOWAS—have roundly condemned Gbagbo’s hijacking of the political process. Various African governments have done the same.

But there is little that the international community can actually do. UN Security Council approaches are stymied by the Russian policy of keeping the UN out of electoral matters. And it is difficult to see how international sanctions can dislodge Gbagbo. In the meantime, there are two governments in Cote d’Ivoire--Gbagbo and Ouattara. Each has a military force and the threat of the resumption of the civil war is becoming greater.

More on:

Sub-Saharan Africa

Elections and Voting

Ivory Coast

Heads of State and Government

Up
Close