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Ivory Coast Table of Contents

Ivory Coast


Government: Constitution of 1960 creates republic with strong, centralized presidential government, independent judiciary, and national legislature. President and 175-member National Assembly (Assemblé Nationale) elected by universal suffrage for five-year terms. In the late 1980s, all candidates had to belong to Democratic Party of Côte d'Ivoire (Parti Démocratique de Côte d'Ivoire--PDCI), then the country's only legal party.

Administrative Divisions: Forty-nine prefectures divided into subprefectures; thirty-seven municipalities enjoyed autonomous status.

Judicial System: Laws based on French and, to lesser extent, customary law. Upper-level courts included Supreme Court, High Court of Justice, and State Security Court; lower courts included courts of appeal, courts of first instance, courts of assize, and justice of peace courts.

Politics: As of late 1988, Félix Houphouët-Boigny had served as president since independence. He had not named a successor, encouraging rivalry between National Assembly president Henri Konan Bedié and Economic and Social Council president Philippe Yacé. Economic austerity, calls for multiparty system, and increasing crime were potential threats to stability.

Foreign Affairs: Leading member of Council of the Entente and West African Economic Community; pragmatic foreign policy; staunch ally of France and other Western nations on which Côte d'Ivoire relied for development aid. Supported United States agenda on South Africa and Chad.

Data as of November 1988