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Ivory Coast opposition leader stands aside as new government formed
New president's campaign manager named as prime minister
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (CNN) -- Ivory Coast's new president named his campaign manager as the prime minister in his government on Friday, while the chief opposition leader considered joining the West African nation's fledgling government.
President Laurent Gbagbo opened his home for talks with the Rally of the Republicans (RDR) party leader -- and former prime minister -- Alassane Ouattara on Friday morning. Ouattara, who had earlier rejected Gbagbo's claim to the presidency following a contentious election, said after the meeting that he would not block the formation of a new government.
"We have agreed that he could, if he wished, go ahead with the formation of a government today without the RDR," Ouattara said. "Legislative elections are due to be held in December. We can reexamine these questions after the elections."
After the meeting, Gbagbo announced that he had selected Affi N'Guessan to serve as his prime minister. N'Guessan was minister of Industry and Tourism in the outgoing government of ousted military ruler Gen. Robert Guei.
Gbagbo assumed the presidency on the heels of a popular uprising that erupted when Guei halted the vote counting of Sunday's presidential election and declared himself the winner on Tuesday.
But the ballot itself had been disputed since Guei's supreme court banned several parties -- including the popular Ouattara's RDR -- from participating. Demanding a new election, Ouattara's supporters entered the fray after Guei fled to parts unknown.
Dozens were killed in the street fighting that followed.
Gbagbo was sworn in as president on Thursday, and pledged to adhere to Guei's timetable for a return to democracy following the December 1999 pay-mutiny-turned-coup that toppled President Henri Konan Bedie.
The coup was the first for Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer.
CNN Correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Reuters contributed to this report.
Gbagbo inaugurated, Ivory Coast rioting subsides
Organization of African Unity
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