Ivory Coast Names Cabinet as Split in Ruling Alliance Widens

(Bloomberg) -- Ivory Coast appointed a new cabinet following the government’s resignation last week amid increasing divisions within the ruling political coalition over the nomination of its candidate for 2020 presidential elections.

Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly reappointed most key ministers to their posts, including Economy and Finance Minister Adama Kone, and expanded the executive to a total of 36 ministers and five secretaries of state, Patrick Achi, the presidency’s secretary-general, told reporters Tuesday. The budget, oil, interior, agriculture and defense ministers from the previous government will all retain their portfolios, he said.

Jean-Claude Kouassi was named as mining minister to replace Souleymane Diarrassouba, who will head the industry and commerce ministry. Gon Coulibaly also appointed a new government spokesman, Sidi Toure.

While a reason for the resignation of the previous government wasn’t given, the ruling Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace coalition is split over who should succeed President Alassane Ouattara when he’s due to step down in 2020. Ouattara’s Rally of the Republicans has suggested the alliance could hold primaries to find a candidate, but coalition partner Democratic Party of Ivory Coast, or PDCI, said last month it wants to choose its own candidate. The RDR reiterated plans to merge the coalition into a single party late Monday.

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