Ivory Coast's Ouattara dissolves government

Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:47am EST
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By Loucoumane Coulibaly

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara dissolved his government in a surprise move on Wednesday, citing a lack of solidarity within his coalition cabinet.

Ouattara became president in the West African state after beating incumbent Laurent Gbagbo in a 2010 run-off election with the backing of other parties. Gbagbo rejected the results, triggering a brief civil war last year.

"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.

He said the decision was taken after Ouattara's coalition partners in parliament blocked a government-proposed change to the country's marriage law that the government said aimed to boost the rights of married women.

"That poses a problem of solidarity within the alliance, and support in parliament for the government created through this alliance," Coulibaly said.

The dissolved government was headed by Prime Minister Jeannot Kouadio Ahoussou, a member of the PDCI party of Henri Konan Bedie, who was one of Ouattara's rivals in the first round of the 2010 election.

Ahoussou had been named prime minister as part of a deal that saw the PDCI throw its support behind Ouattara in the run-off election against Gbagbo.

PDCI members of parliament were among those who voted against the revisions to the marriage law, which for the first time would have put men and women on equal legal footing within married couples.   Continued...

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