Tidjane Thiam, the former CEO of Credit Suisse, announced his candidacy on Friday to head a major opposition party in Ivory Coast, potentially placing him in the race for president in 2025.
Before Henry Konan Bedie became president, Thiam, 61, was a minister. Following Bedie’s overthrow in a coup in 1999, he departed the West African nation. He worked for McKinsey, a consulting firm, and Prudential and Aviva insurers before being named Credit Suisse’s CEO in 2015.
After a significant eavesdropping incident five years later, he resigned from the Swiss bank, claiming he had no participation.
For the first time in almost 25 years, Thiam returned to Ivory Coast to compete in the PDCI leadership contest. Felix Houphouet Boigny, the country’s first president, founded the political party PDCI.
“I am running for the honor of serving you,” Thiam said to a rejoicing assembly of PDCI members at the party’s headquarters in Abidjan, the finance hub.
He will face off against four other candidates in the party elections on December 16. The victor can reasonably run as PDCI’s presidential nominee in 2025.
“After his address, 31-year-old finance worker Emmanuel Katie declared, “Thiam is the sole choice since only he can lead (PDCI) to victory in 2025.”
The coalition between President Alassane Ouattara’s RDR and Bedie’s PDCI was broken up in the most recent 2020 presidential election. When it was struck in 2005, the goal was to mend the political divisions that had caused a civil war three years prior.
Following an election that opposition parties mainly boycotted and rejected as unlawful, Ouattara was re-elected to a third term. About 35 people were murdered in clashes on election day and in the run-up to voting. The 81-year-old Ouattara has not yet revealed his plans for 2025.