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Ivory Coast’s Gon Coulibaly likely to triumph in polls

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Subject

Profile of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly.

Significance

Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly was nominated on March 12 as the presidential candidate for the ruling Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) to succeed incumbent President Alassane Ouattara. Gon Coulibaly was nominated without any contest, which prompted protests from some senior RHDP members. With populist contender Guillaume Soro subject to an international arrest warrant and in self-imposed exile, and the main opposition parties yet to confirm an individual or joint candidate, the election appears Gon Coulibaly’s to lose.

Impacts

  • The elections could potentially be postponed if the COVID-19 outbreak becomes particularly severe.
  • Ouattara will likely remain an influential figure during a Gon Coulibaly presidency, which could prove a double-edged sword for the latter.
  • An economic boom has not trickled down to ordinary workers, making renewed public-sector strikes and cost of living protests likely.
  • Defence Minister Hamed Bakayoko will likely help Gon Coulibaly keep the key military constituency on side ahead of the elections.
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