The man who formerly served as Ivory Coast's prime minister and defense minister has been elected the head of parliament.

Guillaume Soro was elected to the post Monday with a near-unanimous vote. He resigned last week in a procedural move to usher in a new government following parliamentary elections in December.

Soro is a divisive figure in Ivory Coast. His rebel army helped toppled the country's strongman last year when the latter refused to cede power after losing a presidential election. Rights groups have issued numerous reports on the violations committed by Soro's fighters.

President Alassane Ouattara, who is from the same political party as Soro, is widely expected to appoint as prime minister a member of another party in a move to form a coalition government.