Ivory Coast to Appoint New Government after Cabinet Resigns

Ivory Coast Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly will appoint a new cabinet after the government resigned as the main political alliance is increasingly divided over the nomination of its candidate in 2020 presidential elections.

Coulibaly was immediately reappointed to his post and has been asked to form a government with members of the ruling Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace coalition and civil society, Patrick Achi, the presidency’s secretary-general, told reporters Wednesday in the commercial capital, Abidjan. He didn’t give a reason for the decision.

The announcement comes as the two main parties in the ruling coalition, which are also the West African nation’s biggest political groups, are split over who gets to field the potential successor of President Alassane Ouattara. A plan to turn the alliance into a single party has been delayed until after the elections because the Democratic Party of Ivory Coast, known by its acronym PDCI, said last month it wants to appoint its own coalition candidate.

Ivory Coast Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly will appoint a new cabinet after the government resigned as the main political alliance is increasingly divided over the nomination of its candidate in 2020 presidential elections.

Coulibaly was immediately reappointed to his post and has been asked to form a government with members of the ruling Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace coalition and civil society, Patrick Achi, the presidency’s secretary-general, told reporters Wednesday in the commercial capital, Abidjan. He didn’t give a reason for the decision.

The announcement comes as the two main parties in the ruling coalition, which are also the West African nation’s biggest political groups, are split over who gets to field the potential successor of President Alassane Ouattara. A plan to turn the alliance into a single party has been delayed until after the elections because the Democratic Party of Ivory Coast, known by its acronym PDCI, said last month it wants to appoint its own coalition candidate.

While the outgoing government was already dominated by members of Ouattara’s Rally of the Republicans party, the new cabinet will probably have even fewer ministers from the PDCI, according to Ousmane Zina, a political analyst at the University of Bouake. “Everyone has been expecting this,” Zina said. “The question is which PDCI ministers will be the first to go.” The PDCI had 12 ministers in the 28-member government.

The two parties derive their support from two of the nation’s main ethnic groups, the Dioula who are viewed as northerners and the Baoule from the southeast. Ouattara is hugely popular with northerners, but won elections with the backing of PDCI leader Henri Konan Bedie in 2010 and 2015. Last month, he suggested he may seek re-election, saying a constitution adopted in 2016 allows him to extend his time in office.

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