African press calls on Gbagbo to go

Election posters of Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo and of former prime minister and presidential candidate of the Rally of the Republicans (RDR) Alassane Outtara in Abidjan Both Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara say they are Ivory Coast's rightful leader

Press comment in Africa differs on how the West African regional bloc Ecowas should try to mediate in the Ivory Coast election stand-off. Outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo is refusing to cede power to opposition leader Alassane Ouattara after the disputed 28 November election.

Most commentators call for pressure to force Mr Gbagbo out, whereas one seeks a coalition to overcome the divisions caused by the election.

There are also concerns that a pattern of coalition governments after controversial polls in Zimbabwe and Kenya could encourage incumbent rulers to refuse to accept electoral defeat.

NIGERIA'S VANGUARD

Laurent Gbagbo should be told in clear terms that he has become part and parcel of his country's problem and should be humble enough to accept defeat and hand over power to the man who according to the results, won the run-off. This is a historical opportunity to heal the wound which over seven years of political conflict has [been] inflicted on the country and it is not too late for Gbagbo to display statesmanship by stepping down.

JIBRIN IBRAHIM IN NIGERIA'S GUARDIAN

A second exclusion of Ouattara in a context in which he had already won a free and fair election would definitely precipitate civil war if pro-active measures are not taken to restore the sovereignty of the Ivorian people.

LIBERIA'S DAILY OBSERVER

Mr Gbagbo took part in the electoral process; however, he should have demonstrated genuine concern by abiding by the results. His current behaviour has put his sincerity into question and indeed, he needs to step aside.

GHANA'S CHRONICLE

The Chronicle believes the only language Gbagbo and his foolhardy military advisers might understand, is brute force. There must be a means of whisking him away from Government House at Yamoussoukro to answer charges of treason. He has needlessly brought Cote d'Ivoire to the brink of another civil war.

BURKINA FASO'S LE PAYS

Russia and China have refused to join other influential members of the UN in the pro-Ouattara coalition. The situation is not really surprising for those who know the UN's "big guns", which have rarely excelled in their unity on an issue. State interests have too often taken precedence over the defence of legality and legitimacy.

FELIX C EBOLE BOLA IN CAMEROON'S LE QUOTIDIEN MUTATIONS

[Gbagbo and Ouattara] admit, even though without having to spell things out, that massive fraud, vote obstruction and ballot box stuffing took place... the "international community" as one rushed to proclaim Alassane Ouattara as the winner. This attitude risks... erasing any chance of a speedy return to lasting peace.

NICHOLAS SENGOBA IN UGANDA'S DAILY MONITOR

The attempts by the African Union to cause mediation - which seem more like pampering a criminal - point worryingly in one direction. That we may have a repeat of what happened in Kenya and Zimbabwe where the one who has forcefully usurped the power of the people is allowed to remain in power but form a coalition government.

NDIMBY A IN MADAGASCAR'S L'EXPRESS

Laurent Gbagbo and his supporters are trying to make people swallow hook, line and sinker the faultless decision by the Constitutional Court, half of whose members and the chairman were appointed by Gbagbo.

KENYA'S THE STAR

The danger of installing yet another coalition government in Ivory Coast is that it encourages heads of state to refuse to leave office... The African Union and the international community should take a tough line in Ivory Coast to ensure that Ouattara is installed a president.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

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