Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, removed from the electoral list, said Thursday, June 8 that he would not let his name be “dirty”while filing an appeal to be registered and vote in the local elections scheduled for September 2. “No, no and no, I will not let my name be smeared without a fight. I’m still standing ! »he hammered in a statement to the press, after filing an appeal in person in an office of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), in Abidjan.
If Mr. Gbagbo was acquitted by international justice of crimes against humanity committed during the bloody post-election crisis of 2010-2011, he remains under a sentence of twenty years in prison in Côte d’Ivoire for the ” robbery “ of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) in 2011.
The political climate has become tense again
This conviction, pronounced in 2018 while he was imprisoned in The Hague, had led to the forfeiture of his civic and political rights and therefore his removal from the electoral lists. “They didn’t put my name on the electoral list on the pretext that I was convicted after a trial because I allegedly robbed the BCEAO. I vigorously refute such an accusation.launched the former president, in a statement of about fifteen minutes.
Mr. Gbagbo put forward several arguments to ask for his re-registration on the lists and in particular the fact that he, according to him, was never summoned for his trial, nor notified of the judgment pronounced in his absence. “I was president from October 2000 to April 2011. We do not judge a former president anyhow before any court”he added.
He also called on current President Alassane Ouattara and Henri Konan Bédié, another former head of state (1993-1999) still alive, to leave “a peaceful Ivory Coast for the younger generations”. “The time for kicking has passed”, he said. Appeals to the CEI are possible until Saturday.
After several signs of appeasement – calm legislative elections and the return of Mr. Gbagbo to his country in 2021 – the political climate has become tense again in recent weeks. Some eight million voters are called to ballot on September 2 in Côte d’Ivoire to renew municipal and regional councils. The next presidential election is to be held in 2025.