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Political rift in Ivory Coast raises concerns for 2020

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19:20 13-10-2018
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 After more than a decade as allies, two of Ivory Coast's largest political parties face off in local elections on Saturday after an acrimonious divorce that is making Ivorians nervous ahead of a presidential poll in 2020, Euronews reports.

The alliance struck in 2005 between President Alassane Ouattara's RDR and former President Henri Konan Bedie's PDCI was meant to dominate for generations and help heal the political rifts that led to civil war three years earlier.

But the pact that propelled Ouattara to presidential election victories in 2010 and 2015 collapsed last month as the parties bickered over whose candidate should be in pole position next time round.

Now, both the RDR (Rassemblement des Republicains) and PDCI (Parti Democratique de la Cote d'Ivoire) are casting Saturday's vote for hundreds of mayors and regional council seats as a test of strength heading into 2020.

"Two years from the presidential election, this will allow us ... to see how each political camp measures up," said Mamadou Toure, a government and RDR spokesman.

The local election campaign has been mostly smooth.