Ivory Coast - President Ouattara names PM from allied party

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara kept a promise to a key ally on Tuesday by naming his new prime minister, Jeannot Kouadio Ahoussou, from the ranks of the PDCI party - the first step in the formation of a new government.
The PDCI party's backing helped Ouattara defeat former leader Laurent Gbagbo in a 2010 election.

Ahoussou, 61, was formerly justice minister and Ouattara's deputy campaign leader. He replaces Guillaume Soro, who on Monday was confirmed as the new head of the West African state's parliament.
"In the coming hours we will certainly have a new government," Ahoussou said, adding negotiations were ongoing with Gbagbo's former FPI party over the government's make up. "The talks with the FPI will continue without interruption. We will unite Ivorians," he said.
Ouattara beat Gbagbo in a November 2010 election after securing the backing of the PDCI presidential candidate Henri Konan Bedie in a second round run-off.
Gbagbo refused to accept defeat, however, triggering a four-month conflict until he was finally ousted with the help of U.N. and French troops. Gbagbo's FPI party has since criticized Ouattara for stiffling political dissent, and boycotted parliamentary elections in December.
Involved in politics since the 1970s, Ahoussou was one of the key players in the Ivorian peace process following a 2002-3 civil war that eventually culminated in the 2010 elections. He has been an adviser to Bedie since 2005.
Analysts said the transition since Soro resigned last week has so far reinforced optimism among investors in the country's 2032 $2.3 billion bond which went into default after the disputed November poll.
The bond was bid at 62.45 cents to the dollar at 1437 GMT on Tuesday, unchanged.
"The smooth and pre-arranged power shift that followed Guillaume Soro's resignation last week certainly suggests that risks to Cote d'Ivoire's political outlook are marginal," said Samir Gadio, emerging markets strategist at Standard Bank. "This in itself supports the Eurobond price outlook."
"Perhaps there is however a concern that ministerial positions are still assigned based on political allegiance rather than primarily technocratic skills," he added.
REUTERS

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