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. It is located in Africa.

Civil war

Troops, mostly hailing from the north of the country, mutinied in the early hours of 19 September 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 branch

Main office-holders
Office Name Party Since
President Alassane Ouattara Rally of the Republicans 4 December 2011
Vice-President Tiémoko Meyliet Koné Independent 19 April 2022
Prime Minister position vacant

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.

In November 2020, Alassane Ouattara won third term in office in elections boycotted by the opposition. His opponents argued it was illegal for president Ouattara to run for a third term.

Legislative branch

National Assembly of Ivory Coast.

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-thirds of the senators indirectly elected and one-third appointed by the president-elect, elected for a five-year term in single-seat constituencies. Ivory Coast is a one party dominant state with the Rally of the Republicans in power.

Judicial branch

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 elections

Presidential elections

Alassane OuattaraRally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace3,031,48395.31
Kouadio Konan BertinIndependent64,0112.01
Henri Konan BédiéDemocratic Party of Ivory Coast53,3301.68
Pascal Affi N'GuessanIvorian Popular Front31,9861.01
Valid votes3,180,81097.28
Invalid/blank votes89,0032.72
Total votes3,269,813100.00
Registered voters/turnout6,066,44153.90
Source: Independent Electoral Commission

Parliamentary elections

Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) won 137 of 254 contested seats in the election, according to official results. Union for Democracy and Peace in Ivory Coast (UDPCI) claimed fraud and the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) appealed for calm. One seat remained open on March 10 because a candidate died during the campaign. The elections were peaceful and turnout was 37.88%, with 2,788,022 voters participating out of 7,359,399 registered. There were 82,184 null ballots and 34,083 blank ballots.

Patrick Achi was named interim Prime Minister on March 8, during the illness of Hamed Bakayoko. Bakayoko died of cancer on March 10.

The largest opposition grouping will mostly likely be a coalition formed by Henri Konan Bedie′s UPDCI and Laurent Gbagbo's FPI, which won 50 seats.

Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace1,313,88649.18137–30
Democratic Party of Ivory Coast160,5996.0123
Together for Democracy and Sovereignty118,5704.448New
Together to Build (UDPCI, FPI and allies)53,8262.018+2
Ivorian Popular Front52,4511.962–1
For the Republic and Democracy2,4170.090New
Republican Union for Democracy2,0530.0800
Rally of Democrats of Ivory Coast1,8100.070New
Rally for Peace and Agreement1,6940.0600
1,000 Volunteers1,6000.060New
Union of Democrats for Progress1,1460.0400
Party for African Integration1,0160.040New
Ecological Party of Ivory Coast8220.030New
Strength to the Peoples6810.030New
Alliance for Democracy Movement5890.020New
Serving Ivory Coast5870.020New
Democratic and Civic Union5350.0200
National Civic Movement5330.0200
New Union for Ivory Coast4640.020New
People's Party of Social Democrats4050.0200
Party for Progress and Socialism3920.010New
Ivorian Ecological Party3000.010New
National, Democratic and Reformist Front2630.0100
Congress for an Ivorian and Pan-African Renaissance2480.0100
Pan-African Congress for Renewal2440.010New
People's Socialist Union2370.0100
Union for Total Democracy in Ivory Coast2330.0100
Union for National Progress2280.0100
Group of Political Partners for Peace1940.010New
Liberal Democratic Party of Ivory Coast1920.010New
Ivorian Democratic Front1810.010New
Pan-African Democratic Rally1750.0100
Reform is Possible2460.010New
Ivorian Centrist Alliance1430.010New
Business and Farmers Party of Ivory Coast1180.000New
National Integrity and Conscience820.000New
Democratic and Social Movement790.0000
Social Democrat Party660.000New
Ivorian Party of Challenges to Overcome640.0000
National Congress for the Development of Ivory Coast570.000New
Collective of Democratic Ivorians550.0000
National Reforming Party530.000New
Party of Democratic Rebirth and Development460.000New
Party of Republican Democrats430.000New
National Movement of Young Centrists180.000New
Valid votes2,671,75595.83
Invalid/blank votes116,2674.17
Total votes2,788,022100.00
Registered voters/turnout7,359,39937.88
Source: CEI

Administrative divisions

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 participation


This page was last updated at 2024-01-12 12:19 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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