On 22 December last year, the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation in Yamoussoukro was teeming with people, into the night. Thousands of activists from the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI) had gathered to elect their new leader. Some had travelled the day before to make sure they didn’t miss this historic meeting and the chance to elect the new president – only the third since the party was founded in 1946 — who will have the onerous task of succeeding the late Henri Konan Bédié.
Almost 6,000 voters were divided into small groups in improvised polling stations throughout the vast building. They had two candidates to choose between: Tidjane Thiam, the former head of Crédit Suisse, and Jean-Marc Yacé, the mayor of Cocody.
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