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Côte d’Ivoire - 2011 National Assembly

In the National Assembly (Assemblee Nationale) 255 members are elected by plurality vote to serve 5-year terms. Districts are both single-member and multi-member. There are 205 constituencies. Elections are plurality vote in one round. The last parliamentary election in Côte d’Ivoire was held on 11 December 2011. The election was boycotted Ivorian Popular Front (Front Populaire Ivoirien). As a result, parties belonging to the Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace won 204 seats in the National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale).

In 2011, Cote d'Ivoire - or Ivory Coast as it is known in the English-speaking world - was torn apart by inter-community violence that broke out between supporters of newly elected President Alassane Ouattara and his predecessor Laurent Gbagbo. It was the latest round in a bitter ethnic struggle that had wrought havoc in this former French colony for a decade. Three thousand people were killed; more than a million, from both sides, were displaced. The fighting was only brought to an end with the help of French and UN troops who intervened on Ouattara's side.

On 11 December 2011, the country held elections for representatives to the National Assembly. The elections were peaceful and generally free and fair, despite minor administrative problems. Voter turnout was 37 percent, which was higher than the 32 percent recorded for the 2000 legislative elections. Preliminary results indicated that President Ouattara’s RDR party won a majority with 127 seats. The PDCI, a pro-Ouattara party, won 77 seats. Independents, some reported to be pro-FPI, won 35 seats. At year’s end the political opposition was poised to have limited representation in the National Assembly.

After being postponed numerous times since 2005, parliamentary elections were finally held in December 2011. They were the first to be held under the new President Alassane Ouattara. At stake were 255 seats in the National Assembly, up from 225. Former Prime Minister Ouattara had called for a boycott of the previous parliamentary elections in December 2000, former Prime Minister Ouattara, having lost the presidential race two months earlier. The Democratic Party of Côte d'Ivoire (PDCI)-African Democratic Rally (RDA) came in first with 98 seats, winning two more than President Laurent Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front (FPI). The newly elected National Assembly elected Mr. Mamadou Koulibaly (FPI) as its new Speaker.

On 27 September, the Election Commission announced that parliamentary elections would be held on 11 December. In all, 946 candidates - 34 political groups and 435 independent candidates - were vying for the seats in the National Assembly. About 11 per cent of them were women. Major contenders in the 2011 elections were President Ouattara's RDR and its ally, the PDCI-RDA, led by former President Henri Konan Bédié. The latter pledged to work for the reconstruction of Côte d'Ivoire in cooperation with the RDR and the Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP).

The FPI urged supporters of former President Gbagbo to boycott the elections in protest against the detention of the former President. It argued that conditions for fair elections had not been met, citing security concerns. On 30 November, former President Gbagbo was transferred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague to face charges of crimes against humanity committed by his forces following the 2010 presidential elections.

A total of 36.56 per cent of the 5.7 million registered voters turned out at the polls. The final results gave 127 seats to the RDR and 77 to the PDCI-RDA. The RHDP took four. The remainder went to three small parties reportedly close to the President and 35 independent candidates. In all, 28 women were elected. Speaker Koulibaly's LIDER failed to win parliamentary representation.

On 9 January 2012, President Ouattara announced that the National Assembly would be convened on 4 April. On 12 March 2012, the newly elected National Assembly held its first session and elected former Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, who had joined the RDR shortly before the 2011 elections, as its new Speaker.

A French judge issued an arrest warrant for Ivory Coast's parliament speaker Guillaume Soro after he failed to appear in connection with a case brought against him by the former Ivorian president's son, judicial sources said on December 07, 2015. Guillaume Soro, a former rebel leader turned politician, was prime minister when fighters under his command captured Michel Gbagbo, son of Ivory Coast's ex-president Laurent Gbagbo, at the end of a brief civil war in April 2011. Held in detention until 2013, Michel Gbagbo filed a complaint in France accusing Soro and other senior figures in the former New Forces rebellion of "kidnapping, false imprisonment and inhumane and degrading treatment." Soro was widely considered a leading candidate to succeed Ouattara, who is due to complete his second and final five-year term as president of the world's top cocoa grower in 2020.

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Page last modified: 06-09-2021 11:51:01 ZULU