Gbagbo lawful president of I Coast: ACDP

2011-01-20 15:21

Johannesburg - Laurent Gbagbo is the lawful president of the Ivory Coast and attempts to remove him are a "travesty of justice", ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe said on Thursday.

"Our conclusion is that Gbagbo is lawful president of the country, his presidency is supported by the constitution and the laws of the land," he said in Johannesburg after a visit to the west African cocoa-rich country.

During his visit, Meshoe and two other church leaders met Gbagbo, who related to them that he wanted a recount of the election results, but was denied.

Meshoe failed to meet Gbagbo's rival and opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, despite attempts to secure an audience with him.

Ouattara, he said, was announced the winner of the country's November 28 2010 election by one Constitutional Commissioner in the absence of the other 30.

Gbagbo has refused to step down as president after the election authority announced he lost the elections.

"A member of the electoral commission who also met with us told us that the announcement of the provisional results by their president in front of the French media was not only illegal and unlawful, but also took the other 30 members of the electoral commission by surprise.

"What happened in Côte d'Ivoire we believe is a travesty of justice. We are saddened by the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union that have endorsed this travesty of justice."

Meshoe said he would seek to meet President Jacob Zuma to discuss the matter. He also did not rule out talks with the United Nations over his findings.

Pressure was mounting on Gbagbo to cede power, but the latest attempts at securing a peaceful resolution to the crisis by AU mediator Raila Odinga had reportedly failed.