(Corrects to show that law proposal passed despite opposition
of coalition partners)
* Presidency cites a lack of solidarity in coalition
* No indication of when new government will be named
By Loucoumane Coulibaly
ABIDJAN, Nov 14 Ivory Coast's President Alassane
Ouattara dissolved his government in a surprise move on
Wednesday, citing a lack of solidarity within his coalition
Ouattara became president in the West African state after
beating incumbent Laurent Gbagbo in a 2010 run-off election with
the backing of other parties. Gbagbo rejected the results,
triggering a brief civil war last year.
"The president of the republic ... ended the functions of
the members of the government," Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Ouattara's
secretary general, said following a cabinet meeting in the
commercial capital Abidjan.
He said the decision was taken after Ouattara's coalition
partners in a parliamentary committee voted against a
government-proposed change to the country's marriage law that
the government said aimed to boost the rights of married women.
The proposal advanced despite the opposition of some
"That poses a problem of solidarity within the alliance, and
support in parliament for the government created through this
alliance," Coulibaly said.
The dissolved government was headed by Prime Minister
Jeannot Kouadio Ahoussou, a member of the PDCI party of Henri
Konan Bedie, who was one of Ouattara's rivals in the first round
of the 2010 election.
Ahoussou had been named prime minister as part of a deal
that saw the PDCI throw its support behind Ouattara in the
run-off election against Gbagbo.
PDCI members of parliament were among those who voted
against the revisions to the marriage law, which for the first
time would put men and women on equal legal footing within
Coulibaly said Ouattara was in contact with leaders among
his coalition to discuss the formation of a new government, but
he did not say when it would be named.
Since taking office last year, Ouattara, a former
International Monetary Fund official, has overseen a much-lauded
revival of the economy, with growth of 8.6 percent projected for
2012 following a contraction of 4.7 percent last year.
The West African nation, once a rare example of stability
and prosperity in the often troubled region, won more than $4
billion in debt relief from the IMF and World Bank earlier this
year in a major vote of confidence for Ouattara's government.
But his administration has underperformed in a number of
other significant areas.
The security services are struggling to cope with a series
of regular armed attacks targeting military and infrastructure
installations that began in August and have been blamed on
Gbagbo's exiled supporters.
National reconciliation between rival political camps since
the war and essential security sector reform are also lagging.
Some observers saw the government, named in the wake of a
decade-long crisis and largely a product of political
pragmatism, as hindered by a lack of capable personnel.
"I'd be surprised if this was just because a government bill
was rejected in parliament," said Samir Gadio, an emerging
markets analyst with Standard Bank. "It could be he's
consolidated his power now and can appoint a more technocratic
team that is less politically driven."
Others, however, voiced concerns over the manner and timing
of the announcement, which caught both politicians and foreign
diplomats largely off guard.
"It's quite strange, and it's quite risky...We are now in a
state of emptiness," said one Western observer, who asked not to
(Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Additional reporting and
writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Michael