Côte D'ivoire - Leadership

Gbagbo has displayed courage, tenacity, and opportunism over the years in his bid for the presidency. Just prior to the 2000 elections he ditched his alliance with Ouattara when it was apparent that the northerner would be a liability to him. As head of state, Gbagbo has displayed considerable political acumen. In the ministerial reshuffle following the legislative elections, he retained Affi N'Guessan as prime minister, the former minister of industry and tourism in Gueï's government, and constituted a mixed government that included ministers from the PDCI-RDA, the Parti Ivoirien des Travailleurs (PIT—Ivorian Workers Party) and two independents. The national reconciliation forum was considered a success, and to his advantage, none of the resolutions were binding. The return of stability spurred multilateral and bilateral donors to renew cooperation with Côte d'Ivoire. Donors were expected to fund projects totaling some US $700 to US $800 million in 2002, including the launching of a poverty reduction and growth facility (PRGF).

Since the civil war broke out in September 2002, Gbagbo will have to work with the other members of the government of national unity and reconciliation to reestablish the unity of the nation, the confidence between northerners and southerners, and to restore the disrupted economy.

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