10:41 am
24 October 2016

Ivory Coast former Prime Minister to Stand for President

ABIDJAN (Reuters) – Former Ivory Coast Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny registered as a candidate for president on Friday in elections in October, challenging incumbent Alassane Ouattara.

Ouattara is the favourite to win, having revived the economy since a civil war ended in 2011.

“I am a candidate to put Ivory Coast and Ivorians at the centre of the nation’s priorities,” Banny said.

He was not directly a candidate of any party, he said.

The elections are a step towards stability after a decade of political turmoil and war. More than 3,000 people died in conflict that broke out in 2010 when then President Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept defeat at the polls to Ouattara.

Ivory Coast is French-speaking Africa’s largest economy and the world’s biggest producer of cocoa. Its post-war revival has seen it record some of the continent’s highest growth rates.

Banny served as prime minister from 2005 to 2007.

Affi N’Guessan, who heads Gbagbo’s Ivorian Patriotic Front (FPI), is expected to be Ouattara’s main challenger but the president is aided as he runs for a second five-year term on Oct 25 by support from coalition partner the Democratic Party of Ivory Coast (PDCI).

The National Coalition for Change, a new bloc composed largely of PDCI dissidents and a faction of FPI hardliners, is also expected to provide a challenge.