Political tension is mounting in Ivory Coast as supporters of former president Laurent Gbagbo declare plans to file candidacy bid in his name for the upcoming presidential elections in October.
The electoral commission of the West African nation months ago ruled that it was excluding the former president from the elections.
It went ahead to remove his name from the electoral list and that decision was upheld by the courts.
Gbagbo’s name was removed from the electoral list according to the electoral commission because he was convicted of a crime.
According to the president of the electoral commission, Ibrahime Coulibaly-Kuibiert, anyone convicted of a crime would not be allowed to stand.
Mr. Gbagbo was sentenced in absentia in November 2019 for the “looting” of the Central Bank of West African States.
He was convicted of the crime following a disputed 2010 election that resulted in brief civil war.
Gbagbo’s lawyer Claude Mentenon told AFP news agency that there was no further legal recourse inside Ivory Coast.
Earlier this month it was announced that Laurent Gbagbo will not be running for President this year after his party named a new candidate.
The party picked his former prime minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan as its candidate for the October presidential vote.
Gbagbo lives in Belgium after being acquitted of war crimes by the International Criminal Court last year.
But there are reports the presidential bid on Gbagbo’s behalf could still hold as Coulibaly-Kuibiert asserted that one need not be physically present to file.
Gbagbo’s supporters have formed a pro-Gbagbo coalition calling themselves “Together for Democracy and Sovereignty.”
On Wednesday they declared that they will file candidacy bid in his name for the upcoming October Elections.
The political climate in Ivory Coast has become tense once more, ten years after the post-election crisis killed more than 3,000 people.
Already at least 8 people have died from violence after President Ouattara declared and filed to seek a third term in office.
President Ouattara, 76 who has been in office since 2011 had announced that he would not be seeking a third term in office, saying he wanted the new generation to take over.
But the man who was picked to run on the ticket of the ruling party, Prime Minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly suddenly died.
The opposition has said that Ouattara’s decision to run again violates the two-term limit in the constitution.