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Ivory Coast's prime minister and government resign

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara has accepted the resignation of his government. The prime minister said he wanted to allow the recently re-elected Ouattara to "inject a new dynamic" into government action.

Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan submitted his and his government's resignation on Wednesday, as the country's president pushes for reforms in the West African country.

"At the last 2015 cabinet meeting on December 23 you expressed your wish to inject a new dynamic into government action," Duncan told President Alassane Ouattara before what was meant to be the first cabinet meeting of the year. "In view of this, and as you embark on your second term, I would like, as tradition demands, to present to you my resignation as prime minister."

The president said he accepted Ouattara's resignation and complimented him for his competence and hard work.

Calls for more efficiency

Shortly after winning the presidency in

October,

Ouattara said he wanted to make moves to reduce poverty in French-speaking Africa's largest economy. Ivory Coast is the world's top cocoa producer, and its economy has been steadily growing at around 9 percent per annum in recent years - but large segments of the population say they have not benefitted from this.

Observers had expected the government's resignation since the elections. A spokesman told reporters that the new government would be announced next Wednesday.

Ivory Coast was immersed in a civil war after Ouattara's initial, contested election victory of 2010. Then-President Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede power, ultimately leading to a civil war in which roughly 3,000 people were killed.

blc/ msh (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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