Angola’s former president José Eduardo dos Santos has returned to Luanda after a two year absence to find that his party, the MPLA, is more ... divided than ever. Has he come back to seek a truce with his successor, João Lourenço?
On 17 January from Assinie, he made his final deliberations from amongst the pool of candidates of the Rassemblement des Houphouëtistes pour la Démocratie et la Paix (RHDP) for this election.
The President, who encouraged current ministers to throw their hats in the ring, will distance himself from those who have not been elected or re-elected for legislative seats.
Some have already decided not to run, such as Abdourahmane Cissé, the petroleum and energy minister, who is not running for the Port-Bouët constituency south of Abidjan.
Negotiations with the opposition
In line with his commitment to reconciliation, Ouattara says will also take into account the new electoral map, which will come into effect after the legislative elections. Some moderate opposition leaders, including some from Henri Konan Bédié’s Parti Démocratique de Côte d’Ivoire or Pascal Affi N’Guessan’s Front Populaire Ivoirien, may possibly join the government.
This option, currently under consideration, depends in part on the outcome of negotiations between the government and the opposition. Before Affi N’Guessan boycotted the 2020 presidential election and participated in the creation of the Conseil National de Transition, Ouattara was seriously considering bringing him into government.
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Convinced that his party can obtain an absolute majority in parliament, the head of state also wants to bet on the younger generations. He wants to exclude all ministers who are over sixty, with the exception of the technocrats. Some who have held office since his first presidential term will probably not be reappointed.
Ouattara relies on a core trio for his ministerial search: Hamed Bakayoko, the prime minister, Adama Bictogo, the executive director of the RHDP, and Patrick Achi, the secretary general of the presidency, whose job it is to propose him with names of executives and technocrats. Informal consultations are already underway.
Finally, Ouattara is also considering appointing, after the legislative elections, new managing directors at state-owned companies.
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