Politics of Ivory Coast

The Politics of Ivory Coast takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Ivory Coast is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the President and the Government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament.

The capital since 1983 is Yamoussoukro; however, Abidjan remains the commercial center. Most countries maintain their embassies in Abidjan. A civil war was fought in Ivory Coast between 2002–2004 and a second civil war broke out in March 2011 following contested elections that saw president-elect Alassane Ouattara come into power in 2011 and reelected in 2015.

Civil warEdit

Troops, mostly hailing from the north of the country, mutinied in the early hours of September 19, 2002. They soon after launched attacks in many cities, including Abidjan. By lunchtime, they had control of the north of the country. Their principal claim relates to the definition of who is a citizen of Ivory Coast (and so who can stand for election as president), voting rights and their representation in government in Abidjan. The events in Abidjan shows that it is not a tribal issue, but a crisis of transition from a dictatorship to a democracy, with the clashes inherent in the definition of citizenship. Forces involved in the conflict include:

Executive branchEdit

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Alassane Ouattara Rally of the Republicans 4 December 2011
Vice-President Daniel Kablan Duncan Democratic Party 10 January 2017
Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly Rally of the Republicans 10 January 2017

Ivory Coast's 1959 constitution provides for strong presidency within the framework of a separation of powers. The executive is personified in the president, elected for a five-year term. The president is commander in chief of the armed forces, may negotiate and ratify certain treaties, and may submit a bill to a national referendum or to the National Assembly. According to the constitution, the President of the National Assembly assumes the presidency in the event of a vacancy, and he completes the remainder of the deceased president's term. The cabinet is selected by and is responsible to the president. Changes are being proposed to some of these provisions, to extend term of office to 7 years, establish a senate, and make president of the senate interim successor to the president.

Laurent Gbagbo took power following a popular overthrow of the interim leader Gen. Robert Guéï who had claimed a dubious victory in presidential elections; Gen. Guéï himself had assumed power on 25 December 1999, following a military coup against the government of former President Henri Konan Bédié. Gbagbo was elected president in 2000 in an election boycotted by many oppositional forces. The president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. The prime minister is appointed by the president.Alassane Ouattara is currently the president of Ivory Coast. He was reelected in the 2015 Ivorian presidential election.

After a new constitution was approved by referendum, it is expected President Alassane Ouattara would appoint a Vice-President before 2020. The President and Vice-President will run on a joint ticket from 2020. They will be both elected for a five-year term, with only one possible reelection. The Vice-President will replace the President in case of death, resignation and any other vacancy, .

Legislative branchEdit

Parliament of Ivory Coast is a bicameral body composed by the National Assembly and the Senate of Ivory Coast. Prior to November 2016 and the future creation of the Senate, the Parliament of Ivory Coast was only composed of the National Assembly. The National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) has 255 members, elected for a five-year term in single-seat constituencies. It passes on legislation typically introduced by the president although it also can introduce legislation. The Senate of Ivory Coast (Sénat) will have two third of senators indirectly elected and one third appointed by the president-elect, elected five-year term in single-seat constituencies. Ivory Coast is a one party dominant state with the Rally of the Republicans in power.

Judicial branchEdit

The judicial system culminates in the Supreme Court of Ivory Coast. The High Court of Justice is competent to try government officials for major offenses. The Supreme Court or Court Supreme consists of four chambers: Judicial Chamber for criminal cases, Audit Chamber for financial cases, Constitutional Chamber for judicial review cases, and Administrative Chamber for civil cases; there is no legal limit to the number of members.

Political parties and electionsEdit

Presidential electionsEdit

Candidate Party Votes %
Alassane Ouattara Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace 2,618,229 83.66
Pascal Affi N'Guessan Alliance of Democratic Forces 290,780 9.29
Konan Bertin Kouadio Independent 121,386 3.88
Henriette Lagou Adjoua Renewal for Peace and Concord 27,759 0.89
Siméon Konan Kouadio Independent 22,117 0.71
Kacou Gnangbo Independent 18,650 0.60
Jacqueline-Claire Kouangoua Independent 12,398 0.40
Charles Konan Banny Independent 8,667 0.28
Amara Essy Independent 6,413 0.20
Mamadou Koulibaly Liberty and Democracy for the Republic 3,343 0.11
Invalid/blank votes 201,186
Total 3,330,928 100
Registered voters/turnout 6,301,189 54.63
Source: CEI

Parliamentary electionsEdit

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace 1,019,057 50.26 167 –40
Ivorian Popular Front 118,130 5.83 3 New
Union for Democracy and Peace in Côte d'Ivoire 60,566 2.99 6 –1
Union for Ivory Coast 20,806 1.03 3 +2
Liberty and Democracy for the Republic 3,050 0.15 0 0
Rally for Peace, Progress and Sharing 2,628 0.13 0 New
United Cape for Democracy and Development 2,513 0.12 0 0
Alliance of Democratic Forces 2,308 0.11 0 New
Union of Democrats for Progress 2,235 0.11 0 New
Democratic and Civic Union 2,207 0.11 0 0
Democratic and Social Movement 1,576 0.08 0 0
Renewal for Peace and Agreement 1,303 0.06 0 New
Collective of Democratic Ivorians 1,136 0.06 0 New
Congress for Ivorian Renewal 1,101 0.05 0 New
Union for Total Democracy in Ivory Coast 984 0.05 0 0
People's Party of Social Democrats 861 0.04 0 New
Republican Union for Democracy 848 0.04 0 New
Union for Progress 648 0.03 0 New
Pan-African Democratic Rally 644 0.03 0 0
National Democratic and Reformist Front 596 0.03 0 New
Ivorian Party of Greens 466 0.02 0 New
National Civic Movement 444 0.02 0 0
Congress of People for Development and Freedom 440 0.02 0 New
Union for National Progress 319 0.02 0 0
People's Socialist Union 306 0.02 0 0
Democracy for Freedom and Cohesion 233 0.01 0 New
Ivorian Party of Rising to Challenges 201 0.01 0 0
Party of Unity and Progress of Ivory Coast 184 0.01 0 New
Revolutionary Communist Party of Côte d'Ivoire 178 0.01 0 0
Congress for Ivorian Renewal–Panafrican 177 0.01 0 New
Ivorian Ecological Movement 163 0.01 0 0
Union of Popular Masses 134 0.01 0 New
Republican Party of Ivory Coast 106 0.01 0 0
Union for Development and Freedoms 101 0.00 0 New
National Alliance of Ivory Coast 93 0.00 0 New
Ivorian Party of Farmers 40 0.00 0 0
Progressive Movement of Ivory Coast 30 0.00 0 New
La Renaissance 20 0.00 0 0
Independents 780,629 38.50 76 +41
Invalid/blank votes 110,575
Total 2,138,036 100 255 0
Registered voters/turnout 6,268,113 34.11
Source: CEI

Administrative divisionsEdit

For administrative purposes, Ivory Coast is divided into 58 departments, each headed by a prefect appointed by the central government. There are 196 communes, each headed by an elected mayor, plus the city of Abidjan with ten mayors.

The 58 departments (départements, singular - département) are listed in the article Departments of Ivory Coast.

International organization participationEdit



External links and referencesEdit