Ivory Coast's Ouattara faces 6 contenders

2015-10-24 08:09
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Abidjan - Incumbent President Alassane Ouattara faces six contenders, two of them former premiers, in Sunday's key vote for the Ivory Coast's top job.

Ouattara is seeking a solid first-round win to seal the peace after years of upheaval in the world's top cocoa producer, but his rivals hope to push the vote into a second round run-off.

- PASCAL AFFI N'GUESSAN

At 62, Affi is seen as the main challenger to the incumbent head of state. He overcame hostility on his own side to run as the candidate for the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) founded by jailed former president Laurent Gbagbo. Some FPI hardliners are boycotting the vote in a show of solidarity with Gbagbo, now awaiting trial before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

- KOUADIO KONAN BERTIN ('KKB')

Renowned for his cheeky humour, Kouadio Konan Bertin led the youth wing of the PDCI for 12 years until 2013. Like Konan Banny, he has opted to go against the party line backing Ouattara.

Elected to parliament for Abidjan's Port-Bouet district, "KKB" argues that PDCI leader Henri Konan-Banny has made a mistake in backing Ouattara. "Not to have a candidate in 2015 is to together sign the death certificate of Felix Houphouet-Boigny's party," he says.

- KONAN KOUADIO SIMEON ('KKS')

Born on January 1 1964, in the central Toumodi region, Konan Kouadio Simeon ("KKS") is a businessman who went into politics because of a "divine call" to become head of state in order to bring peace and reconciliation to the country.

Simeon won a measure of popular esteem when he turned down about $173 000 the state gave each of the candidates as campaign funds ahead of the vote. He also stood in the last presidential poll in October 2010.

- HENRIETTE ADJOUA LAGOU

She is standing on behalf of the party she founded herself, Renewal for Peace and Concord (RPC).

The strict and charismatic financial services administrator was previously a member of the PDCI, then the FPI.

- JACQUELINE CLAIRE KOUANGOUA

Kouangoua, a 44-year-old printer, is running as an independent. Born to a father from central Ivory Coast and a mother from the west, she proclaims herself to be the candidate "of bruised hearts and a population weakened and tired by the Ivorian crisis caused by the current political class".

Elegant in traditional flowing dress, Kouangoua launched her campaign in her hometown of Daloa in the central west, where she still lives.

- GNANGBO KACOU

Kacou, another independent candidate, is an MP for the southern town of Adiake, who wants to create jobs for young people. A shaven-headed tax expert trained in France, Kacou says he would uncouple the CFA franc currency common to a range of African countries from the euro, promote national manufacturing, and make corruption "a crime against humanity".

Read more on:    alassane ouattara  |  ivory coast  |  west africa

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