A special team of members from the ruling Democratic Party is to decide who will replace Felix Houphouet-Boigny as President of the Ivory Coast.
GV EXTERIOR Congress Palace, Abidjan Ivory Coast, with flags outside
GV INTERIOR M. Houphouet-Boigny President of Ivory Coast, walks on to platform
CU PDCI Poster
SV President Houphouet-Boigny speaking in French
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Background: A special team of members from the ruling Democratic Party is to decide who will replace Felix Houphouet-Boigny as President of the Ivory Coast. The decision was made by the President himself, at the Party's three day congress in Abidjan.
SYNOPSIS: The three day session was held at Congress Palace in the capital.
The decision on who should replace the ageing President was one of the key issues. The announcement that President Houphouet-Boigny would select a committee to elect his successor was given by the Ivorian leader himself. It was to come at the end of the Party's conference, where the entire organisation of the group was to come under inspection.
The President has ruled the relatively affluent one-party state since independence from France in 1960. At his request, the Congress voted for a series of resolutions which will effectively streamline the Party and pave the way for the elections on 12 October.
The election date was announced on the day after the Congress closed. President Houphouet-Boigny - who's now seventy-five - said that he'll be standing as the official Democratic Party candidate. Political observers believe he'll almost certainly be re-elected to serve as President for a fifth five-year term of office. so far no other candidate have declared themselves.
During the three-day Congress the changes to the Party suggested by the President were commended by other delegates. But the President found time to refer to current world wide issues before the meeting was closed.