Ivory Coast’s former president Laurent Gbagbo has said that Saturday’s presidential election will spark “disaster” for the country.
Ivorians will be voting in a crucial election on October 31 as tension heightens ahead of the election.
The two main challengers to Ivory Coast’s President Alassana Ouattara in the presidential election have said they were boycotting the poll.
Former president, Henri Konan Bédié, and the former prime minister, Pascal Affi N’Guessan, made the declaration weeks ago.
They have also asked their supporters to disrupt the electoral process which they claim amounts to electoral coup.
Laurent Gbagbo and a former prime minister, Guillaume Soro have all been barred from contesting in the election.
In Gbagbo’s first public comments since he was toppled in 2011 he said “What awaits us is disaster. This is why I am speaking out.
People should know that I am against heading for disaster with our hands tied. We have to talk.”
He told French channel TV5 Monde in an interview broadcast on Thursday that “I understand (the anger)” of the opposition “and I share it.”
But, he said, dialogue was essential in resolving the potential disaster he spoke of.
Most of the anger ahead of the election has been over President Ouattara’s decision to seek a third term in office.
That decision has sparked protests and agitations with his critics saying the third term bid is illegal.
The 76-year-old who has been in office since 2011 said he wanted the new generation to take over.
But the man he picked to run on the ticket of the ruling party, Prime Minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly suddenly died in August.
Gbagbo calls for dialogue in resolving the crisis saying “Talk! Negotiate! Speak to one another! There is still time to do it, to talk. I would like to tell Ivorians that in this fight over the third term, I, Laurent Gbagbo, former head of state, former prisoner of the ICC, am resolutely on the side of the opposition.
“I say, in the light of my experience, that there has to be negotiations!”