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Vol 40 No 3

Published 5th February 1999

Côte d'Ivoire

Pushing out patronage

Politicians are divided over reforms that cut into the ruling party's largesse

Ivorians are warming up for two battles this year. The first is between reformers, backed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, who want to decommission the country's creaking political patronage machine and those determined to block or derail such attempts. More exciting (and better covered in the lively local press) is the battle for political power between President Henri Konan Bédié and former Premier and current IMF Deputy Managing Director Alassane Dramane Ouattara, who is due back in Abidjan in July to challenge Bédié for the presidency in the run up to the elections next year.

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