Ivory Coast ex-leader to seek party leadership from jail

2014-11-13 07:37
Laurent Gbagbo (File: AP)

Laurent Gbagbo (File: AP)

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Abidjan - Ivory Coast's former president Laurent Gbagbo, awaiting trial in The Hague for his role in the country's 2010-2011 political crisis, will vie to reclaim his party's leadership, it emerged on Wednesday.

The Ivorian Popular Front's current leader, Pascal Affi N'Guessan, announced in the west African country's economic hub Abidjan that he would take on the ex-president for the leadership in mid-December.

The party, Ivory Coast's biggest, has not held a congress for 13 years because of the political and military crisis that engulfed the country between 2000 and 2011.

The FPI is divided between one camp that is bent on Gbagbo's release from the International Criminal Court, and another that backs N'Guessan for a presidential run in 2015.

Gbagbo faces four counts of crimes against humanity, allegedly committed at the end of his 10-year rule over Ivory Coast, once he refused to accept defeat in an election in November 2010.

His supporters clashed for five months with those of President Alassane Ouattara, who was proclaimed winner of the vote by the electoral commission, in a conflict that claimed at least 3 000 lives.

Gbagbo's trial is expected to begin at the end of 2015.

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