Here are points in favour of Gbagbo for the second round of the presidential elections in the Ivory Coast:
Voters in Abidjan are more independent minded and less likely to follow a village elder or party bigwig. This makes it more difficult for RHDP to make Bedie voters to choose Ouattara in the second round, and opens up for Gbagbo to make inroads.
- The muslim northener issue
Among christians in the south, RHDP has a bit of a headwind in making them vote for Ouattara who is a muslim northener. I’m sure Gbagbo’s campaign will play on this, possibly also adding insinuations about Ouattara being an agent for foreign interests and not a real ivorian himself.
Especially in regions in the south and south-west where Gbagbo did well but Ouattara scored few votes, Gbagbo should have a good chance of picking up many Bedie-voters.
Gbagbo and FPI/LMP have more resources to put into the campaign than the RHDP as FPI/LMP have a stronger grip on the state and can use its resources. As per the Gbagbo: votes and… post resources are used not only for pure campaigning but also to buy votes, and I guess in this case to attempt to buy over local PDCI leaders.
- The south is enough
Gbagbo doesn’t need to make inroads in the north ex-rebel held areas. Looking at the map, the bulk of the voters, 3.8M out of 4.6M, do not live in the ex-rebel held areas. Gbagbo just needs enough Bedie voters which he can get in the south and the center.
The more Bedie voters abstain, the easier the task becomes for Gbagbo.
- Vote rigging
Although there wasn’t much of it in the first round, I can’t rule out that there will not be more in the second round, and it will very likely be in favour of Gbagbo.
- The 10 billion CFA Franc question
And then there is the issue of what Gbagbo and his party does if the CEI announces that Ouattara won. Leave power peacefully? Or cry fraud, say that foreigners are taking over the country, and call in the army and the youth militia to resist? There is a possibility that Gbagbo stays in power even if he loses the election.