WorldNetDaily has taken sides on the election controversy in the Ivory Coast, delaring in a Jan. 22 article that "Laurent Gbagbo, a Christian, legitimately was re-elected president" and that the country "is facing the forced Islamist takeover of its government" from "outside influences" who "seek to force the installment of Alassane Ouattara, a Muslim who, like Gbagbo, claims the presidency following a recent contested election." WND continues:
The forced selection of Ouattara by outside influences runs contrary to constitutionally established procedures in the Ivory Coast regarding such determinations, critics contend.
In this case, the issue centers on whether the United States and U.N. will select the next Ivory Coast president or allow the decision by the country's constitutional council to prevail.
The constitutional council had determined that there was sufficient evidence of vote-rigging in the northern part of the country controlled by Islamists to make the final determination that Gbagbo, the incumbent president, had won the hotly contested election last November.
The constitutional council under the Ivory Coast constitution has the last word on election results.
But the U.S., U.N. and African Union are pushing for the recognition of Ouattara and are demanding that Gbagbo step down and "respect democracy."
As we've detailed over at Media Matters, the United Nations and the European Union have certified that the vote in which Gbagbo lost to rival Ouattara was free and fair, despite some isolated incidents of violence, and National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer stated that the provisional results were in favor of Ouattara, adding, “Credible, accredited electoral observers have characterized the balloting as free and fair, and no party should be allowed to obstruct further the electoral process.” The constitutional council WND relies on as having certified the results of the election is, in fact, controlled by Gbagbo loyalists.
In short, there is near-unanimous international opinion that Gbagbo is causing the crisis in the Ivory Coast by manipulating the election results and refusing to leave office, and U.S. actions on the Ivory Coast are in line with that international opinion.
WND also repeats the discredited claim that President Obama "barnstormed on behalf of" Kenyan leader Raila Odinga during a 2007 visit to the country and that Obama was "appearing with Odinga at campaign stops." In fact, as PolitiFact.com reported, Obama "remained neutral in Kenyan politics, and did not support Odinga during his trip," and it was Odinga who was seeking to align himself with Obama, not the other way around.
WND portrayed the Kenya situation as "the second Muslim-Christian battle in Africa recently," but the opposing candidate in the Kenyan presidential controversy, Mwai Kibaki -- who professes to be a Chtristian -- has two wives, something generally frowned upon in Christianity.
This is the second time this month that WND has sided with Gbagbo and pushed discredited lies about Obama and Odinga.