re posted from Presstv.com
Ivory Coast PM resigns, dissolves government amid tensions
Ivory Coast Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan has resigned along with his cabinet amid political tensions in the West African country.
“I have tendered my resignation and that of the government,” Duncan said Monday, two days later than he was expected to step down based on the standard procedure for changing the government in the country.
Duncan made the resignation announcement after a meeting with President Alassane Ouattara, who kept hold of his majority in the December 18 parliamentary elections. However, the government was expected to resign by Saturday to give leeway to a new government which could allow the implementation of measures contained in a new constitution, signed by Ouattara in November.
Ivory Coast’s presidency announced that Ouattara had accepted Duncan’s resignation.
The two-day delay in the announcement of the government’s resignation came after a group of dissident army soldiers took over army bases in cities across Ivory Coast, demanding bonus payments. The government then reached an agreement with the army for the revolt to end.
Reports said former premier and current Parliament Speaker Guillaume Soro was behind the mutiny as he is believed to be seeking the post of premiership or vice presidency. Some also said that the revolt could have been masterminded by Ouattara.
State employees also began a five-day strike on Monday, demanding that the government scrap pension cuts and another plan to increase the retirement age from 55 to 60.
Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, is West Africa’s largest and most prosperous economy.
The French-speaking country emerged from nearly a decade of short wars and a protracted crisis in 2011. However, the factionalized, ill-disciplined military and increasing political divisions have sparked fresh concerns about the state of security in the country and how the government could continue to realize its economic objectives in the future.