Has Ouattara won? Here’s some strong evidence he has

Much has been written about the late 2010 elections in Ivory Coast and although there has initially been near unanimous support for and acceptance of Ouattara’s win by the international community, South Africa’s Zuma and Uganda’s Museveni have recently decided Gbagbo’s claim of fraud in the North deserves further scrutiny and would thus like to see an investigation. Because of these requests I have decided to look at the publicly available data myself with a view to answering the question: Was it fraud in the North that caused Ouattara’s win?

In order to do so I have eliminated the contentious second round vote in the North from my considerations. I have found a way of doing so by taking the first round election results which are considered credible as the basis of my analysis. As the first round had twelve additional presidential candidates running who together achieved 30% of the vote, the question that needs to be answered is who have their voters supported in the second round when they had to chose between only Gbagbo and Ouattara? To determine this trend I have completely ignored the second-round Northern vote and fully concentrated on the vote in the Gbagbo-controlled South which most certainly is free of electoral fraud and intimidation benefiting his opponent. It turns out that in the South 65% of these “new” voters have on average voted Ouattara, leaving 35% to Gbagbo. I think it fair to assume that Ouattara would have got at least the same percentage in free and fair elections in the North, and so it’s fair to apportion a minimum of 65% of these voters to him country-wide. Remembering that Gbagbo achieved 38% in the first round and Ouattara 32% that leaves us with a couple of simple mathematical formulas to work through:

Ouattara: 32% + 0.65 * 30% = 51.5%
Gbagbo: 38% + 0.35 * 30% = 48.5%

We see that even when we take only the Southern part of Ivory Coast as an indicator of who the twelve eliminated presidental candidate’s voters have chosen in the second round, Ouattara is still ahead with a tidy 3% margin. That’s more than six times the 0.46% margin Mills achieved in the Ghanaian election 2008. To my knowledge this is the best evidence yet – based on only publicly available data – that Ouattara really did win the election. The argument derives its strength from the fact that it is based solely on data approved by the country’s Constitutional Council, headed by Gbagbo’s election campaign manager Yao N’Dre. Feel free to verify the numbers and assumptions that went into the calculation yourself.

Even if there were reasonable doubts that Ouattara has won the election – and I don’t see any – there are much, much graver doubts that Gbagbo has won it. It is nothing but preposterous for him to stay in power claiming a mandate on the basis of these election results. It is even more disappointing to see that African democracies South Africa and Ghana still refuse to fully support President-elect Ouattara.