Ivory Coast's leader is dead
Felix Houphouet-Boigny, President of Ivory Coast, died yesterday at his home at Yamoussoukro, 33 years to the day since he led his country to independence. Announcing his death, the Prime Minister, Alassane Ouattara, said: 'Ivory Coast is orphaned.' President Mitterrand said: 'The world has lost a great statesman and the Ivory Coast has lost its most illustrious son.'
No announcement has been made, but he will probably be given a grandiose funeral at Yamoussoukro. Houphouet-Boigny was small in stature and known for his charm and sagacity. He had none of the charisma that other, less durable African leaders possessed and was never at ease in front of a crowd.
Houphouet-Boigny, officially 88 but believed to be much older, pursued pro-French and pro-Western policies, maintaining relations with South Africa and Israel and encouraging free-market economics. Despite high growth rates, Ivory Coast's economic boom after independence was superficial, and in the mid-1980s, when interest rates soared and its commodity prices collapsed, Ivory Coast was as much adrift as any other African country.
Houphouet-Boigny's death plunges Ivory Coast into a crisis. According to the constitution the Speaker of parliament, Henri Konan Bedie, should rule until new elections, but these are not due for two years. Moreover, Mr Ouattara is challenging Mr Bedie. Yesterday Mr Bedie announced he was assuming the responsibilities of the presidency.
Obituary, page 14
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 'Do not give them a reason': Baltimore man divides police and rioters in hope of avoiding violence
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Tories suspend candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
Bali Nine executions: Indonesia confirms killings of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will go ahead
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
£27000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£17447 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is a leading centre fo...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Case Handler is requi...
£15000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...