Democratic Party of Côte d'Ivoire – African Democratic Rally

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Democratic Party of Côte d'Ivoire – African Democratic Rally
Founded 1946
Headquarters Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
Ideology Conservatism
African nationalism
Pan-Africanism[citation needed]
Political position Centre-right[citation needed]
International affiliation African Democratic Rally
Seats in the National Assembly
76 / 255
Politics of Côte d'Ivoire
Political parties

The Democratic Party of Côte d'Ivoire — African Democratic Rally (French: Parti Démocratique de la Côte d'Ivoire — Rassemblement Démocratique Africain, PDCI-RDA) is a political party in Côte d'Ivoire. Founded during the colonial era in 1946, as an outgrowth of the African Agricultural Union, it became the only legal party in the country upon independence in 1960. For the next 30 years, the PDCI and the government were effectively one. Every five years, its leader was automatically elected to a five-year term as president of the republic and confirmed in office via a referendum. At the same time, a single list of PDCI candidates was returned to the National Assembly.

In 1990 the first multi-party elections took place, but the party remained in power with a landslide majority in the legislature. Founder Félix Houphouët-Boigny led the party from its formation until his death in 1993, upon which he was replaced by Henri Konan Bédié. The party lost power when Bédié was ousted in a December 1999 coup.

The PDCI announced in early 2000 that it would hold a congress to choose new leadership, and Bédié denounced this as a "putsch";[1] the party decided to retain Bédié in the leadership, however.[2] In August, Bédié and four other PDCI members registered as candidates in the October 2000 presidential election;[3] shortly afterward, Emile Constant Bombet, who had served as Interior Minister under Bédié, defeated Bédié for the PDCI presidential nomination.[4] Bombet and Bédié were both barred from running by the Constitutional Court in early October, and on October 10 Bédié called for a boycott of the election.[5]

Unlike many former single parties in Africa, the PDCI has made a good account of itself since losing power. In the parliamentary election held on 10 December 2000 and 14 January 2001, the party won 94 out of 225 seats.

On 18 May 2005, the PDCI and the Rally of the Republicans (RDR), despite a history of hostility towards one another (the RDR had been formed as a liberal splinter from the PDCI in 1994), signed an agreement to form a coalition, the Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace, along with two smaller parties, the Union for Democracy and Peace in Côte d'Ivoire (UDPCI) and the Movement of the Forces of the Future (MFA), ahead of the presidential election then planned for October 2005.[6][7] This election was delayed several times, finally held in 2010. By that time, the two parties had resumed competing against each other.

At the 11 December 2011 parliamentary election, the PDCI remained the principal opposition party, with 76 seats.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cote d'Ivoire: Ousted president accuses party of staging "putsch" against him", AFP (, February 29, 2000.
  2. ^ "Ivorian former ruling party wants coup leader to stick to "transition period"", Radio France Internationale (, April 11, 2000.
  3. ^ "COTE D'IVOIRE: Nineteen register as presidential candidates", IRIN, August 18, 2000.
  4. ^ "COTE D'IVOIRE: Ex-interior minister chosen as PDCI presidential candidate", IRIN, August 21, 2000.
  5. ^ "Cote d'Ivoire: Former President Bedie calls for presidential election boycott", AFP (, October 10, 2000.
  6. ^ "La nouvelle alliance contre Gbagbo",, 19 May 2005 (French).
  7. ^ "Côte d'Ivoire: Former political foes strike pact to oust Gbagbo", IRIN, 18 May 2005.
  8. ^ Gbagbo, Laurent. Côte d'Ivoire, Pour une alternative démocratique. Paris: L'Harmattan, 1983.

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