In the Ivory Coast, an important three-day congress of the ruling Democratic Party ended on Wednesday (1 October).
GV palais des Congress, Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
GV Dancers outside Palais des Congress with spectators clapping to music.
GV INTERIOR Delegates seated inside Congress building.
SVs President Houphouet- Boigny seated ZOOM IN TO CU and audience seated. (2 SHOTS)
CU Mr. Mamadou Coulibaly, President of Economic and Social Council speaking in French.
SV President Houphouet- Boigny sitting as speech continues.
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Background: In the Ivory Coast, an important three-day congress of the ruling Democratic Party ended on Wednesday (1 October). At the request of President Felix Houphouet-Boigny the congress voted for a series of resolutions streamlining the party and paving the way for elections in the West African state before the end of the year.
SYNOPSIS: The congress was held in the capital of the Ivory Coast, Abidjan. President Houphouet-Boigny and the Democratic Party - known as PDCI - have ruled the relatively affluent one-party state since independence from France in 1960.
Delegates voted on measures to re-organise their party. The President, who is 74, wanted the party's politburo reduced from 70 members to 32 and a ten-man inner executive established.
The President of Ivory coast's Economic and Social Council, and PDCI treasurer, Mamadou Coulibaly commended the changes to the delegates. He said they could be achieved in solidarity and fraternity. But the congress took place against a background of internal politics. The post of party Secretary-General, previously held by President Houphouet-Boigny's heir-apparent, Philippe Yace, was abolished.
Mr. Yace is believed to have fallen from favour over his handling of party finances and opposition to the election plans.
President Houphouet-Boigny also dealt with criticism of his decision to grant asylum to the former dictator of the Central African Republic, Jean-Bedel Bokassa. The President told French reporters that his presence had not chilled relations with France. But he did say that Bokassa had violated his pledge to neutrality andy political silence when he spoke to reporters about a scandal allegedly concerning French President Giscard d'Estaing. Reliable sources said the former Emperor had recently been moved to a more isolated residence.