Côte d’Ivoire ex-leader Henri Konan Bédié dies at 89

Côte d’Ivoire ex-leader Henri Konan Bédié dies at 89

Henri Konan Bedie, former Ivorian President, passed away Tuesday August 1 at the age of 89, after being admitted in a local clinic of the economic capital Abidjan.

“The Ivory Coast Democratic Party-African Democratic Rally (PDCI-RDA) is deeply saddened” to announce the “sudden death” of Bedie in hospital in Abidjan Tuesday,” his party in the opposition said in a statement.

The late leader had been sick and was admitted to Polyclinique internationale Sainte Anne-Marie (PISAM).

Bedie led Cote d’Ivoire from 1993 until 1999 when he was overthrown by the military in the country’s first-ever coup. The man born in 1934 in a family of cocoa planters was the chosen successor to Ivory Coast’s founding father Felix Houphouet-Boigny, who ruled over the west African nation from independence from France in 1960 until his death in 1993, aged 88.

Trained economist, Bedie was the country’s first Ambassador to the U.S. He also served several ministry positions and became Speaker of the Parliament before ascending to power in 1993 after Houphouet-Boigny’s demise.

Dubbed the “Sphinx of Daoukro” after his native town and economy with words, Bedie after the coup sought in vain to return to power through 2000, 2010 and 2020 presidential elections. Bedie came third in the 2010 presidential elections, behind Ouattara and the incumbent Laurent Gbagbo.

He supported Ouattara in the post-election crisis, and for his first six years in power, but fell out with him again.

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