Ivory Coast profile

President : Alassane Ouattara

Alassane Ouattara President Ouattara was elected in November 2010

Alassane Ouattara was internationally recognised as the winner of the presidential election in November 2010, but the incumbent, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to give up power and had to be removed by force.

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 unable to exercise any power, being confined to a hotel only a few kilometres away from 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.

Instability persists

In November 2012, Mr Ouattara dissolved the Ivorian government after a row over a new marriage law. Analysts said the split highlighted the continued political instability in the country.

Mr Ouattara, a US-educated economist from the Muslim north, 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 parliament chief Henri Konan Bedie, Mr Ouattara return to the IMF, rising to be 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.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Africa stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Man holding lipWitch hunt

    The country where a blasphemy charge is a death sentence


  • Espresso cupNews quiz

    Which city serves the strongest cup of coffee?


  • Irvine WelshDeaf ears

    Five famous Scots who can't vote in the Scottish referendum


  • Electric chairReturn of 'the chair'

    Five people talk about their roles in Tennessee's execution debate


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Canada.Hidden rail trip

    Canada's tiny, two-car shuttle is a train lover's dream with scenic views

Programmes

  • Leader of Hamas Khaled MeshaalHARDtalk Watch

    BBC exclusive: Hamas leader on the eagerness to end bloodshed in Gaza

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.