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Ivory Coast opposition leader stands aside as new government formed


  WEB EXCLUSIVE
hunter-gault On the scene with
Charlayne Hunter-Gault in Abidjan, Ivory Coast

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."

 VIDEO
CNN's Charlayne Hunter-Gault has an update on events in Ivory Coast

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  RESOURCES
Ivory Coast power struggle at a glance
 

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.



RELATED STORIES:
Gbagbo inaugurated, Ivory Coast rioting subsides
October 26, 2000
Former Ivorian prime minister demands new elections
October 25, 2000
Guei declares himself winner of Ivory Coast election
October 24, 2000
Winner unclear as Ivory Coast vote results trickle to unexplained halt
October 23, 2000
Ivory Coast braces for historic election
October 19, 2000
State of emergency holds Ivory Coast in check ahead of court ruling
October 6, 2000
Ivory Coast leader's home attacked
September 18, 2000

RELATED SITES:
Organization of African Unity
Amnesty International 2000 country report, Ivory Coast
U.S. Department of State, Human Rights Reports for 1999: Cote d'Ivoire
Library of Congress, Country Study, Ivory Coast


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