Political situation Striving to achieve stability and development

Since President Alassane Ouattara took office in 2011, the political situation in Côte d'Ivoire has stabilised. Free and peaceful elections have been held, a new constitution has been adopted, and progress has been achieved in the area of good governance, with transparency and effectiveness improving.

 Employees in the control centre of a chocolate factory in Abidjan
 Employees in the control centre of a chocolate factory in Abidjan

Notwithstanding these achievements, there is still a great need for reform, and the danger of conflicts being reignited still lingers.

This became evident most recently when presidential elections were held in October 2020. Following the sudden death of his designated successor, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Ouattara again ran as presidential candidate for the governing party, RHDP. This decision led to protests, some of them violent, as the Ivorian constitution provides for a maximum of two terms as president. Two opposition candidates called for a boycott of the election. Ouattara won the election with 94 per cent of the vote. The violent protests left several people dead or injured.

The political dialogue between the government and the opposition that followed helped to defuse the political situation. As a result, when parliamentary elections were held in March 2021, they proceeded peacefully, and – for the first time in 25 years – all major political parties took part in the elections. Since then, all the larger parties have been represented in Parliament.

In mid-2021, former president Laurent Gbagbo returned from exile in Brussels and had a reconciliation meeting with President Ouattara. There has also been a political dialogue between the government and the opposition that has led to agreement on election system reforms. These steps have been further milestones in the process of stabilisation and reconciliation in Côte d'Ivoire.

However, there is still no in-depth dialogue on national reconciliation, and there has been no full criminal investigation of the human rights violations committed during the civil war (2002 to 2007) and during the crisis following the 2010 presidential elections.

The country also needs to establish an effective separation of powers, which requires a parliament with strong opposition parties and an independent judiciary, together with free media and mechanisms for resolving social conflict peacefully.

Great political challenges

Important tasks facing the government are consolidating democracy; continuing the reconciliation process; achieving inclusive, environmentally sustainable economic growth to reduce poverty and social inequality; creating jobs; reforming the judicial system; fighting widespread corruption; and protecting the environment and the global climate.

As at: 09/02/2023