Egypt, Jordan agree to push forward efforts to settle Palestinian issue    In Photos: Early Coptic church, Roman fort and Ptolemic temple discovered at one site in Aswan    Russian judge jails Kremlin foe Navalny for 30 days initially: Spokeswoman    Atletico seek CAS resolution to Trippier case after FIFA rejects appeal    Egypt signs framework agreement with China's Dongfeng to produce electric cars    Coptic Pope Tawadros II leads Epiphany mass in absence of congregation    Egypt supports tourism, aviation sectors with EGP 5bn during COVID19 crisis    Egypt supports exporters with EGP 21bn during 2020    Egypt Cabinet implemented 100% of the economic reform programme, PM tells parliament    NBE: Exchange rates of key global currencies rates Monday 18-01-2021 vs. Egyptian pound    The gov't implemented 100% of the economic reform program, PM tells parliament    LIVE: Egypt v Sweden (2021 World Handball Championship)    Syria says will import more fuel to cover shortfalls caused by sanctions    Barcelona boss Koeman defends decision to start Messi after red card    Japan's PM vows Olympics will be proof of victory over virus    EXPLAINER: Italy faces a political crisis amid a pandemic    Egypt detects 890 new coronavirus cases; 56 fatalities on Sunday    Egypt's new Aflemha Online Film Festival will celebrate women filmmakers    World Bank provides $200m loan to Egypt for air quality monitoring projects    Egypt detects 887 new coronavirus cases; 54 fatalities on Saturday    In Photos: Egyptian archaeological mission at Saqqara Necropolis announces new major discoveries    Armin Laschet picked as new leader of Germany's CDU party    Egypt's Sisi discusses bilateral ties, regional developments with Sudanese delegation    Bank ABC acquires Blom Bank Egypt for $480 million: Sources    Mubarak-era politician Safwat El-Sherif dies aged 88    Egypt reopens airspace and resumes flights with Qatar    Egypt, Tunisia to establish maritime trade route    Egypt eyes gradual return for tourism after revenues fall to $4 bln in 2020    Seasoned Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed dies at 76    Coronavirus strikes Egypt's youth team as 17 players, coach test positive    Nassef Sawiris plans to up his stake in owner of New York Knicks, Rangers    Cairo International Book Fair suspended for five months over coronavirus concerns    Egypt unveils largest archaeological discovery in 2020 with over 100 intact sarcophagi    Trump says won't blame Egypt for being ‘upset' over GERD dispute with Ethiopia    Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to resume Nile dam talks today    Global Finance: Egypt's Tarek Amer among the world's top 20 central bank governors    The Facebook Preacher's Search for Fame, and Egypt's Economy    Egypt calls on UNSC to address oil spill risks off Yemen coast    Egypt economically strong in face of COVID-19, reforms ongoing: International Cooperation Minister    Arafa Holding reports $144,000 COVID-19-related losses in April    Egypt's efforts in Libya to activate free will of Libyan people: Al-Sisi    Hyksos campaigns were internal takeover, not foreign invaders: study    COVID-19 affects Egypt sporting clubs    COVID-19 will soon turn to seasonal like swine flu: Presidential Health Advisor    ‘Egypt's Support' coalition convenes to discuss its Senate election list    Robbery attempt leads to discovery of Ptolemaic monuments in Qena    Flouting international guidance, Ethiopia unilaterally starts filling its Nile dam    Zaha speaks out after online racial abuse    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Landslide in Cote d'Ivoire
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 04 - 11 - 2015

The crisis of the 2010 elections is now a thing of the past, the head of Cote d'Ivoire's electoral committee reassured the public as he announced, on 28 October, the landslide win by incumbent President Alassane Ouattara.
Ouattara, 73, received 84 per cent of the vote while his main rival, former prime minister Pascal Affi N'Guessan, took only nine per cent. About half of all registered voters are believed to have taken part.
Five years ago, more than 3,000 people were killed in clashes after the outgoing president, Laurent Gbabgo, refused to accept Ouattara's win. This time, the country wasn't in a mood for further disturbances. Ouattara's rivals congratulated him, however grudgingly, on winning a second five-year term in office.
Many attributed the overwhelming victory by Ouattara to his outstanding success in revamping the economy, extracting the country from the ravages of two civil wars and resurging ethnic strife.
In the first Ouattara term, which lasted for four years instead of five, GDP grew at nine per cent, inflation dropped to under three per cent, the ratio of people living under the poverty line declined from 51 per cent to 46.3 per cent, and per capita annual income rose from $1,000 to $1,440.
For the first time since 1999, Abidjan Airport received 1.5 million passengers, and chains of international hotels such as the Radisson and Kempinski opened hotels in major cities. The African Development Bank, which relocated to Tunisia ten years ago, also returned to Abidjan.
“A page has been completely turned on the crisis that we went through and we can truly dedicate ourselves to the future,” Ouattara told his supporters.
Ouattara, a former International Monetary Fund executive who has strong ties with France and Western nations in general, opened the country to investors, cut red tape and offered business incentives.
In addition to French retailers such as Carrefour and FNAC, other companies have moved in to support the Cote d'Ivoire “miracle”. Abidjan now boasts a new light-rail system, a bigger and better harbour, and brand-name hotels such as Sofitel.
China is funding the harbour works and constructing a giant hydroelectric dam in the town of Soubre. A Tunisian company is building highways to connect Abidjan with the interior. Turkey is changing the face of river transportation, and Kuwait is streamlining aviation logistics.
Cote d'Ivoire is one of the world's top exporters of cocoa and cashew nuts. British companies are developing the country's mining and quarries. And although unemployment is still high, at 20 per cent, the economy has created about two million jobs in the past four years.
Critics of Ouattara's policies say that his focus on growth has allowed the rich to become richer while the poor become poorer. But his supporters credit him with reinvigorating the economy and steering the country away from sectarian strife.
Before the election results were announced, Ouattara, who was barred twice from seeking the presidency because of his alleged foreign origin, told Reuters that he would seek to remove nationality restrictions from the constitution.
The landslide signals that Ouattara is seen as someone who has something to offer a country with a turbulent past. Ouattara was born in the north to an Ivorian father and a mother from Burkina Faso. He studied economics in the US before starting a career with the IMF that spanned 20 years.
In 1988, he was named governor of the Central Bank of West African States. In 1990, then-president Felix Houphouet-Boigny asked him to help save the faltering economy. As prime minister between 1990 and 1993, Ouattara impressed the nation with his ambition and work ethic, but his critics found him too “Westernised” for their taste.
In 1999, a military coup led by General Robert Guei deposed President Konan Bedi, who had blocked Ouattara from running for president in 1995. Guei, in turn, blocked Ouattara from taking part in the 2000 elections, also on the grounds that he wasn't a full-blooded Ivorian.
After the country erupted in civil war, Gbagbo agreed to consider Ouattara Ivorian and allowed him to run in the 2010 elections. But he later rejected the outcome, plunging the country into renewed violence.
Ouattara's rival, Pascal Affi N'Guessan, who received less than 10 per cent of the vote, failed in his attempt to revive the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), the party of former president Gbagbo, who is now in The Hague awaiting trial for crimes against humanity.
Although N'Guessan congratulated Ouattara on his win, he added that the outcome of elections shows that deep divisions persist in the country. “The vote confirms that Ivorians need reconciliation,” N'Guessan told journalists.

Clic here to read the story from its source.