September 4, 2019 / 7:05 PM / 17 days ago

Ivory Coast president appoints new finance and agriculture ministers

Patrick Achi, the secretary-general of the presidency, speaks during the announcement of the new government at the presidential palace in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. September 4, 2019. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara named a new government on Wednesday in which Adama Coulibaly will assume the role of finance minister, the government said in a statement.

Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani was appointed to the other key position of agriculture minister in the world’s biggest cocoa-producing nation.

Analysts say Ouattara’s government reshuffle might be a move to get ready for the 2020 presidential election.

The West African nation’s political landscape has been shaken by ex-president Henri Konan Bedie’s decision last October to end a 10-year coalition with Ouattara and by the possible return of another former leader, Laurent Gbagbo, in the wake of his recent acquittal in The Hague.

Ouattara’s camp has said he may reconsider a decision not to run in the 2020 presidential poll if long-time rivals Gbagbo and Bedie were to stand.

At stake in next year’s vote is the stability of francophone West Africa’s largest economy, which is still recovering from a short civil war that led to Ouattara’s 2010 victory over incumbent Gbagbo.

Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Writing by Juliette Jabkhiro; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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