Ivory Coast's Ouattara dissolves government

Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:08am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article
[-] Text [+]

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara dissolved his government on Wednesday, an unexpected move that comes as the world's top cocoa grower makes headway towards reviving its economy.

Ouattara won a November 2010 election, defeating incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo, whose refusal to accept the result triggered a four-month conflict that killed around 3,000 people.

His government continues to struggle with lingering insecurity since the war.

"The president of the republic ... ended the functions of the members of the government," Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Ouattara's secretary general, said following a cabinet meeting in the commercial capital Abidjan.

It was not clear when a new government would be named.

Since taking office last year, Ouattara, a former International Monetary Fund official, has overseen a much-lauded revival of the economy, with growth of 8.6 percent projected for 2012 following a contraction of 4.7 percent last year.

But the security services are struggling to cope with a series of armed attacks targeting military and infrastructure installations since August.

National reconciliation between rival political camps since the war, and essential security sector reform, are also lagging.

"It's quite strange, and it's quite risky," one western observer said of Ouattara's move to dissolve the government.

"He could be saying he's fed up with these guys and wants changes. It could also be a problem between (the coalition partners)," said the observer, who asked not to be named.

(Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly and Joe Bavier; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Tom Pfeiffer)

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara smiles after a meeting with France's President at the Elysee Palace in Paris July 26, 2012. REUTERS/Charles Platiau