The Ivorian power triangle shuffling the presidency for 30 years

by | Jul 14, 2022 | World

Three men have dominated the political landscape of Ivory Coast since the exit of Félix Houphouët-Boigny, the man widely regarded as the “Father of the Nation” and its first president from independence in 1960 to his death in 1993.Today, July 14, when all three, President Alassane Ouattara, 80, and his immediate predecessors Laurent Gbagbo, 77, and Henri Konan Bédié, 88, meet for the first time in 12 years, it could very well define the next chapter in Ivorian politics.
Their last meeting, as captured by a picture of the trio, was in June 2010. Five months later, a civil war began that left 3,000 men, women and children dead in 134 days. Since then, the relationship between the trio has been effervescent, if not volatile, with shifting alliances.
Little wonder then, that this is a meeting whose outcome is eagerly anticipated across the country and in West Africa where Ivory Coast is seen as relatively stable, despite experiencing two civil wars in the last 20 years. In their own way, these three men are key actors in that violent past.
Here’s how that came to be.

A rollercoaster ride
In 1990, Houphouët-Boigny recruited Alassane Ouattara from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to become the country’s first prime minister and help clean up its fina …

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