Ivory Coast opposition says new government is 'bloated'

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Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara and the vice president Daniel Kablan Ducan attend their first cabinet meeting at the presidential palace in Abidjan, Ivory Coast July 11, 2018.

ABIDJAN - Ivory Coast opposition politicians on Wednesday described the new government named by President Alassane Ouattara as "bloated".

Ouattara appointed the government on Tuesday after a row between his RDR party and its coalition partner the PDCI, expanding the cabinet from 34 to 41 ministers and secretaries of state, with most key positions unchanged.

Justin Koua, youth leader of opposition coalition Together for Democracy and Sovereignty (EDS), condemned what he described as a "bloated team" to run the West African country, the world&39;s top cocoa producer.

"How to understand the appointment of a city minister? Why not another for villages? An employment minister and a youth employment minister?" quipped Koua, while announcing an opposition rally on July 28 in the capital Abidjan.

EDS is a coalition that gathers civil society groups as well as the Ivorian People&39;s Party, the party of former president Laurent Gbagbo.

Gbagbo refused to step down in 2010 after losing the election to Ouattara, who came to power after a bloody five-month crisis in 2010-11 and is now in his second term, which ends in 2020.

Opposition politicians have rejected any prospect of a third term for Ouattara, describing it as "unconstitutional".