In my earlier post on Ivory Coast, I praised the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for their boldness in suspending Ivory Coast from their bodies to protest the fact that the incumbent would not agree to leave. Perhaps this was the wrong thing for the AU and ECOWAS to do. Perhaps they should have kept Ivory Coast in and just recognize the winner of the poll – Allasane Ouattara. Ouattara has asked governments to only recognize ambassadors he appoints, and he has asked the regional central bank, the BCEAO, to only respect his instructions regarding monetary issues and central bank transfers in Ivory Coast. In an interesting blog post, Todd Moss at the Center for Global Development asks that one more door be shut to the incumbent and loser. Todd and others argue in their post that Britain, France and the US, the main trading partners with Ivory Coast, should not honor any debts incurred by the incumbent government of Laurent Gbagbo. This will mean Gbagbo can not borrow any money or ask foreign companies to pay up front for business concessions, thereby enabling him to survive financially. If all these doors are closed to Gbagbo, Allasane Ouattara can declare victory and rule – which he is precisely what his game plan. Perhaps the AU and ECOWAS should enable Outtara to do just that.
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