Alassane Ouattara

Alassane Ouattara

Alassane Dramane Ouattara (born 1 January 1942) is an Ivorian politician who was Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire from November 1990 to December 1993. [ Profile at IMF website] , December 12, 2005.] [{4F65DA52-5AB7-4B71-BCF2-27C675E74CF5}&adolanguage={3C80098E-4443-4536-85EB-0499FB0C268E} CV at Ouattara's website] fr icon.] He is currently the President of the Rally of the Republicans (RDR), a party which has its support base in the north of the country, and is a candidate in the upcoming 2008 presidential election. Besides being a politician he is also a technocrat, trained as an economist and having worked for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO).

Career at financial institutions

According to Ouattara, he was born in the Ivorian town of Dimbokro, although others have suggested he was born in Sindou, Burkina Faso.Fact|date=September 2008 He was an economist for the IMF in Washington, D.C. from 1968 to 1973, and afterwards he was the BCEAO's "Chargé de Mission" in Paris from 1973 to 1975. With the BCEAO, he was then Special Advisor to the Governor and Director of Research from February 1975 to December 1982 and Vice Governor from January 1983 to October 1984. From November 1984 to October 1988 he was Director of the African Department at the IMF, and in May 1987 he additionally became Counsellor to the Managing Director at the IMF. On October 28, 1988 he was appointed as Governor of the BCEAO, and he was sworn in on December 22, 1988. [ "Basic texts and milestones"] ,]

Prime Minister

In April 1990, Ouattara was appointed as Chairman of the Interministerial Committee for Coordination of the Stabilization and Economic Recovery Programme of Côte d'Ivoire by Ivorian President Felix Houphouët-Boigny, while remaining BCEAO Governor. He subsequently became Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire on November 7, 1990, after which Charles Konan Banny replaced him as Interim BCEAO Governor.

While serving as Prime Minister, Ouattara also carried out presidential duties for a total of 18 months, including the period from March 1993 to December 1993, when Houphouët-Boigny was ill. [ [{105ABD71-9AD5-4894-B662-8D9ADFB99653}&adolanguage={3C80098E-4443-4536-85EB-0499FB0C268E}&view={9905A651-901F-4DEC-9F81-5654F337C265} "Houphouët-Boigny et ADO: du comité interministériel à la Primature"] , fr icon.] Houphouët-Boigny died on December 7, 1993, and Ouattara announced his death to the nation, saying that "Côte d'Ivoire is orphaned". [ [{105ABD71-9AD5-4894-B662-8D9ADFB99653}&adolanguage={3C80098E-4443-4536-85EB-0499FB0C268E}&view={5338D065-D99B-45AA-BBED-14822716BE8A} "Décès du Président Félix Houphouët-Boigny"] , fr icon.] ["African Leader Dies", "Newsday", December 8, 1993.] A brief power struggle ensued between Ouattara and Henri Konan Bédié, the President of the National Assembly, over the presidential succession; Bédié prevailed and Ouattara resigned as Prime Minister on December 9."Prime minister decides to quit", Associated Press ("San Antonio Express-News"), December 10, 1993.] Ouattara then returned to the IMF as Deputy Managing Director, holding that post from July 1, 1994 to July 31, 1999.

1995 election

Prior to the October 1995 presidential election, in a move that was viewed as being intended to prevent Ouattara's potential presidential candidacy, the National Assembly of Côte d'Ivoire approved an electoral code which barred candidates if either of their parents were of a foreign nationality and if they had not lived in Côte d'Ivoire for the preceding five years. The Rally of the Republicans (RDR), an opposition party formed as a split from the ruling Democratic Party of Côte d'Ivoire (PDCI) in 1994, sought for Ouattara to be its presidential candidate despite the electoral code. In late June 1995, RDR Secretary-General Djéni Kobina met with Ouattara, at which time, according to Kobina, Ouattara said "I'm ready to join you".Robert J. Mundt, "Côte d'Ivoire: Continuity and Change in a Semi-Democracy", Political Reform in Francophone Africa (1997), ed. Clark and Gardinier, pages 194–197.] The party nominated Ouattara as its presidential candidate on July 3, 1995 ["Jul 1995 - Selection of Ouattara as RDR presidential candidate", Keesing's Record of World Events, Volume 41, July, 1995 Cote d'Ivoire, Page 40630.] at its first ordinary congress. [Coulibaly Brahima, [ "Côte d'Ivoire: Organisation du 2ème congrès ordinaire du Rdr, des cadres manoeuvrent pour le report"] , "Nord-Sud" (, July 27, 2007 fr icon.] The government would not change the electoral code, however, and Ouattara declined the nomination. [ [{105ABD71-9AD5-4894-B662-8D9ADFB99653}&adolanguage={3C80098E-4443-4536-85EB-0499FB0C268E}&view={F657D00D-3F42-49EC-A1B4-99E85152D467} "ADO est élu Président du RDR, le 1er Août 1999"] , fr icon.] ["Oct 1995 - Presidential elections", "Keesing's Record of World Events", Volume 41, October, 1995 Cote d'Ivoire, page 40759.] The RDR boycotted the election, along with the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) of Laurent Gbagbo, leaving the PDCI's candidate, incumbent president Henri Konan Bédié, to win an easy victory.

President of the RDR

While serving as Deputy Managing Director at the IMF, in March 1998 Ouattara expressed his intention to return to Côte d'Ivoire and take part in politics again. [ [ "Ivorian ex-premier to quit IMF for return to politics"] , "BBC News Online", March 30, 1998.] After leaving the IMF in July 1999, he was elected President of the RDR on August 1, 1999 at an extraordinary congress of the party, [{BC4C21B3-2509-40EA-86A3- Biography at Ouattara's website] fr icon.] as well as being chosen as its candidate for the next presidential election. ["Ivorian opposition elects former premier as presidential candidate", "Associated Press", August 1, 1999.] He said that he was eligible to stand in the election, pointing to documents which he said demonstrated that he and his parents were of Ivorian birth. He was accused of forging these papers, however, and an investigation was begun. [ [ "Côte d'Ivoire: Police arrest scores outside politician's home"] , "IRIN", September 15, 1999.] [ [ "Ivory Coast opposition leader under investigation"] , "BBC News Online", September 22, 1999.] President Bédié described Ouattara as a Burkinabe and said that Houphouët-Boigny "wanted Alassane Ouattara to concern himself only with the economy". [ [ "Côte d'Ivoire: Former political foes strike pact to oust Gbagbo"] , "IRIN", May 18, 2005.] Ouattara's nationality certificate, issued in late September 1999,"Cote d'Ivoire: Court annuls presidential candidate's nationality certificate", "AFP", October 27, 1999.] was annulled by a court on October 27. [ [ "Opposition leader blasts 'undemocratic' government"] , "BBC News Online", October 29, 1999.] An arrest warrant for Ouattara was issued on November 29, although he was out of the country at the time; he nevertheless said that he would return by late December. [ [ "Côte d'Ivoire: Arrest warrant issued for opposition politician"] , "IRIN", December 9, 1999.] On December 24, the military seized power, ousting Bédié. Ouattara returned to Côte d'Ivoire after three months in France on December 29, hailing Bédié's ouster as "not a coup d'état", but "a revolution supported by all the Ivorian people". [ [ "Ivory Coast coup a 'popular revolution'"] , "BBC News Online", December 29, 1999.] [ [ "COTE D'IVOIRE: Former Prime Minister returns home"] , "IRIN", January 4, 2000.]

A new constitution, approved by referendum in July 2000, controversially barred presidential candidates unless both of their parents were Ivorian, ["Jul 2000 — Referendum on new constitution", "Keesing's Record of World Events", Volume 46, July, 2000 Cote d'Ivoire, page 43661.] and Ouattara was disqualified from the 2000 presidential election. [Cyril K. Daddieh. 2001. "Elections and Ethnic Violence in Cote d'Ivoire," "African Issues". 29 (1&2)] This issues surrounding this were major factors in the Civil war in Côte d'Ivoire, which broke out in 2002.

When asked in an interview about Ouattara's nationality, Burkinabé President Capt. Blaise Compaoré responded, "For us things are simple: he does not come from Burkina Faso, neither by birth, marriage, or naturalization. This man has been Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire."

President Gbagbo affirmed on August 6, 2007 that Ouattara could stand in the next Ivorian presidential election. [ [ "La présidentielle envisagée par Gbagbo pour fin 2007"] , "L'Humanité", August 8, 2007 fr icon.] Ouattara was designated as the RDR's presidential candidate at its Second Ordinary Congress on February 1–3, 2008; he was also re-elected as President of the RDR for another five years. At the congress, he invited the former rebel New Forces, from whom he had previously distanced himself, to team up with the RDR for the election. [ "Alassane Ouattara prêt à s'associer aux ex-rebelles"] , AFP (, February 3, 2008.]

The RDR and the PDCI are both members of the Rally of Houphouëtistes, and while Ouattara and Bédié will run separately in the first round, each has agreed to support the other if only the other makes it into a potential second round.


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