It made for a great title for the BBC article, but I must admit the dissolution of the Ivorian government has me a little confused. A lot of that is because I haven’t been in the country since Saturday. What’s behind the dissolution? The way the news reports are written, you’d think that ideology and policy debate had suddenly crept back into Ivorian politics (I hardly remember seeing them there before). I’d love to know the back story, but I really struggle to believe the official version that it’s a fall out over the ‘equal rights for women’ issue. For a start, there’s very little difference in terms of policy between the parties in the coalition. There’s been rumours of a reshuffle for weeks, and this seems to be either a straw breaking the proverbial back, or perhaps (more likely I think) an excuse to justify a dissolution. If the coalition partners did vote against it, I suspect it would be because something about the manner in which it was proposed rubbed them the wrong way, rather than the issue itself. Either way, Ouattara’s probably locked up the female vote for 2015.
What’s next? Ouattara always seemed to have a plan of a large inclusive political government followed by a streamlined technocratic cabinet, and that may be the outcome. The PM Jeannot Ahoussou has struggled to make a mark, though there are no obvious replacements.
*I guess I wasn’t surprised not to see any articles in the Conservative Right in the US headlined ‘Muslim president dissolves government who refuse equal rights for women’.