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Duncan named as Ivorian premier

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Abidjan - Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara on Wednesday appointed former foreign minister Daniel Kablan Duncan as the troubled West African nation's new prime minister, a statement said.

The 69-year-old member of former president Henri Konan Bedie's PDCI party was named to succeed Jeannot Kouadio Ahoussou after Ouattara dissolved the government on November 14.

Ahoussou had only taken the helm of the government in March, but had in recent days been widely tipped to be returned to the job.

The presidency had said a dissolution was necessary because of growing differences between the governing coalition's two main partners, Ouattara's RDR and the PDCI.

Daniel Kablan Duncan, a trained economist, had already served as prime minister under Konan Bedie between 1993 and 1999.

“Mr Ouattara told Ahoussou yesterday that he would not remain prime minister and that Duncan was being appointed,” a close aide to the president told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Ouattara has been leading the world's top cocoa-producing country since April 2011, when a deadly post-election crisis sparked by Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to concede defeat at the polls ended. - Sapa-AFP

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