Ex-PM elected head of I Coast parly

2012-03-13 09:16
Yamoussoukro - Former prime minister Guillaume Soro was unanimously elected the new speaker of Ivory Coast's parliament on Monday, becoming the first new holder of the post in a decade.

The position of speaker is constitutionally the second most important after that of president.

The election of Soro, who was the only candidate, came after he stood down as premier on Thursday when official results from December's legislative elections were finally issued.

Followers of former president Laurent Gbagbo boycotted the December elections won by President Alassane Ouattara's RDR (Republicans' Rally).

The RDR now controls 138 of parliament's 253 seats, while the Democratic Party of the Ivory Coast (PDCI) of former president Konan Bedie, a Ouattara ally, holds 86 seats.

The Union for Democracy and Peace (UDPCI) holds eight seats, the Movement of the Forces of the Future (MFA) holds three, and the Union for the Ivory Coast (UPCI) one seat.

The remaining 17 seats are held by independent candidates.

Gbagbo is in jail in The Hague, awaiting trial before the International Criminal Court for crimes committed during five months of post-presidential election violence after the restive west African country's disputed November 2010 polls - the first election in the country since 2000.

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