Ivory Coast’s National Assembly gets new Speaker

The outgoing President of the National Assembly of Cote d'Ivoire, Amadou Soumahoro, was elected on Tuesday as head of the…

The outgoing President of the National Assembly of Cote d’Ivoire, Amadou Soumahoro, was elected on Tuesday as head of the institution by a majority of MPs for the 2021-2025 term of office.Mr. Amadou Soumahoro, candidate of the ruling Rhdp was re-elected with 158 votes (63.97 percent) out of 243 votes cast, against 85 votes or 34.41 percent for Eliane Nzi Nda, of the opposition. The number of voters was 247, according to the results. Four blank ballots were however recorded.

The session was chaired by the oldest Member of Parliament, Diawara Mamadou, according to legal provisions. Out of 249 sitting MPs, 240 were in attendance, the quorum being 125. The National Assembly, in total, has 255 deputies, but six seats remain to be filled.

Two candidates for the presidency of the institution, from the Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace (Rhdp), including Vassiriki Konate and Ms. Mariam Traore, withdrew before the vote, in favor of Mr. Amadou Soumahoro.

“I believed that with my school and university background, it was good to apply (…) but in a political party, we have rules of discipline and because of these rules, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy,” MP Vassiriki Konate said.

MP Mariam Traore, in a speech, explained that she applied for the seat, banking on her three successive legislative mandates, associated with her experience of the Ivorian and Pan-African Parliament.

“Far from defying a person, my candidacy (aimed) to indicate that from now on, we must reckon with the women” who have never led this institution, she said, before launching “in the name of peace to my country and the cohesion within the Rhdp parliamentary group, I withdraw my candidacy in favor of Mr. Amadou Soumahoro.”   

Ms. Eliane Nzi Nda Affoue, from the Democratic Party of Cote d’Ivoire (Pdci), was the only candidate of the opposition to run for the presidency of the Ivorian National Assembly. No independent candidate was in the race.

The new re-elected president, Amadou Soumahoro, thanked all those who voted for him, as well as those who did not choose him. He said he was planning his orientation speech for the first regular session scheduled for Thursday.

Amadou Soumahoro, replaced Guillaume Soro in March 2019, following the latter’s resignation on February 8, 2019. Mr. Soro had stepped down, during his mandate, after refusing to join the Rhdp, the ruling coalition.  

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