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Ivory Coast election crisis: A roadmap for African political reform

As Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo refuses to cede power to election-winner Alassane Ouattara, this divided country has become a poster child for Africa's crisis of governance. For fundamental reform, Ivory Coast should take a cue from China, not just the West.

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Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo is living up to the stereotype of an African leader clinging to power, disconnected from the country’s citizens and ignoring their expressed will.

The drama is cast as a personal power struggle between Mr. Gbagbo, who was never properly elected, yet ruled Ivory Coast for 10 years after the flawed 2000 election, and Alassane Ouattara, the candidate in the Nov. 28 runoff who is preferred as the country’s next president by 54 percent of voting Ivorians.

The world has rightly rallied to back the people’s choice. The United Nations, the African Union, the US, and France have all called for Gbagbo to turn over power to Mr. Ouattara.


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