A sadly typical headline flashed up on the newswires recently - 'In Ivory Coast, Two Presidents Claim Office'. This is a disastrous outcome for the recent elections in the country, but not completely unexpected, considering the political situation in the West African country.
Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo was never going to simply give up power over his hot and steamy dominion. For years an activist and opposition politician, he took his position in 2000 through a coup, claiming that he had in fact beaten the president, Robert Guei, in an election. Guei himself had taken power through a coup in 1999, in the years of upheaval after the death of long-term leader Houphouët-Boigny. That 'Father of the Nation' ruled with an iron grip, maintaining calm over three decades in a country where religious, tribal and ethnic rivalries can quickly become enflamed.