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Ivory Coast accuses Senegal of election interference

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-12-03

Ivory Coast accused Senegal of interfering in its runoff presidential election on Saturday and recalled its foreign ambassador to Dakar, following a private meeting between Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade and opposition leader Alassane Ouattara.

AFP - Ivory Coast accused Senegal of conspiring to destabilise its runoff presidential election and recalled its ambassador to Dakar Friday after opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara met the Senegalese president.

“The Ivory Coast has recalled its ambassador from Senegal. The Senegalese ambassador in Ivory Coast was called in today to the foreign ministry where he was handed a protest note,” said Alcide Djedje, the foreign policy advisor to President Laurent Gbagbo, who is standing for re-election.
 
“One has the right to support (a candidate), but one does not have the right to conspire with the aim of destabilisation,” Djedje told AFP.
 
Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade received ex-prime minister Ouattara in Dakar on Thursday, hours after the official announcement that he and Gbagbo would face each other in a runoff, the date for which has yet to be set.
 
“It is a very serious accusation,” said Senegalese government spokesman Moustapha Guirassy, adding that Wade regularly meets with politicians from the region and “he always acts for peace.”
 
Ouattara’s entourage has confirmed the meeting, but have not disclosed any information about what was discussed.
 
Gbagbo, who has since remained in power though his mandate ran out in 2005, won 38.3 percent of first round of voting on Sunday, against 32.08 percent for Ouattara.
 
Ex-president Henri Konan Bedie, who finished third and was eliminated, declined an offer to travel to Senegal on an official plane sent by Dakar.
 
Wade was involved in efforts to broker a peace deal following a failed coup attempt against Gbagbo in 2002 that resulted in the Ivory Coast effectively being split in two. His relations with Gbagbo have often been difficult, although they recently appeared to improve.
 

Date created : 2010-11-06

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