ANALYSIS-World vs Ivory Coast's Gbagbo is African test case

Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:24pm GMT

* Strong world, regional pressure on incumbent

* Little appetite seen for sanctions on cocoa

* Test case before busy 2011 poll calendar in Africa

By Mark John

DAKAR, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Rarely have world powers and neighbours piled so much concerted pressure on an African leader to quit as Laurent Gbagbo faces after an Ivory Coast poll he is almost universally judged to have lost.

But with Gbagbo determined to stay in power, the stand-off is becoming a test of how far the world is prepared to go to resolve the type of election dispute that has plagued African politics for decades.

"The level of consensus is unprecedented," Rolake Akinola of political risk consultancy VoxFrontier said of the endorsement by the United Nations, African leaders, Washington and Europe of Gbagbo's rival Alassane Ouattara as winner.

"It will make others elsewhere think hard about what they are going to do," she said.   Continued...

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