Ivory Coast profile - Leaders

  • 28 October 2015
  • From the section Africa

President : Alassane Ouattara

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Image caption Mr Ouattara is a trained economist with a long career in the IMF behind him

Alassane Ouattara has been in power since his predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo, was forcibly removed from after refusing to recognise Mr Ouattara internationally recognised victory in the November 2010 presidential election.

The poll was meant to draw a line under a 2002-03 civil war which left the country split in two, but it led to a stalemate lasting more than four months.

Mr Gbagbo, who had been in power for 10 years and several times delayed elections, claimed victory in the 2010 poll and held onto power, helped by his militia but isolated by the international community.

Mr Ouattara was initially confined to a hotel near the presidential palace, protected by UN peacekeeping troops.

Eventually his militia overran the country and - together with French troops - stormed the presidential palace and captured Mr Gbagbo in April 2011.

Mr Gbagbo was subsequently transferred to The Hague to stand trial at the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity.

In 2015, Mr Ouattara won a second five-year term with nearly 84% of the vote, in an election described as credible by US observers. An ally of Mr Ggagbo won 9%.

IMF career

A US-educated economist from the Muslim north, Mr Ouattara served as President Felix Houphouet-Boigny's last prime minister after a long career at the International Monetary Fund.

After losing a power struggle against Henri Konan Bedie, who became president, Mr Ouattara returned to the IMF, eventually becoming deputy managing director.

He made a comeback in Ivorian politics as head of the liberal Rally of the Republicans, which has strong support in the north, and backed the coup that ousted President Bedie in 1999.

Disputes about whether Mr Ouattara's parents were Ivorian led to his being debarred from standing for the presidency in 2000 - one of the controversies that prompted the 2002 civil war. As part of the post-war settlement, Mr Ouattara was allowed to register for the 2010 election.

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