I.Coast ruling coalition wins strong parliamentary majority

AFP , Tuesday 20 Dec 2016

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara's ruling coalition won 65.75 percent of the vote in weekend polls, strengthening its hold in parliament as the world's top cocoa producer seeks to remain in the economic fast lane.

The presidential coalition -- named the Houphouetist Rally for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) in tribute to the country's founding president -- won 167 seats in the 254-seat National Assembly, results showed on Tuesday.

Provisional results released by the authorities put turnout at 34 percent, said the head of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) Issouf Bakayoko.

The ruling coalition was seeking an absolute majority in the face of numerous dissidents and opposition candidates in the country, which was rocked by deadly unrest after the 2010 presidential election that saw Ouattara oust then leader Laurent Gbagbo.

Gbagbo refused to accept defeat, sparking conflict that claimed 3,000 lives before Gbagbo was arrested in April 2011.

He is being tried by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity. His wife Simone Gbagbo is on trial in Abidjan on similar charges over the post-2010 election violence.

Ivory Coast was long the star economic performer in the region until hitting years of political strife but is now back on the rails.

The International Monetary Fund has said the west African state will be the continent's fastest-growing economy this year.

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