Abidjan, Aug 1, 2020 (AFP)
Former prime minister Pascal Affi N'Guessan, once a close associate of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo, announced Saturday he would stand in Ivory Coast's presidential election in October
N'Guessan, 67, told an extraordinary congress of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) he wanted to end the bouts of bloodshed and unrest that have scarred the country for years.
"I am a candidate to win and we are going to win as the (ruling party) RHDP has failed," said N'Guessan, who served as prime minister from 2000-2003.
N'Guessan runs a wing of the FPI, which was founded by his onetime mentor, Gbagbo, with whom he now has a strained relationship.
The presidential race was transformed after Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly died of a heart attack on July 8 at the age of 61.
Coulibaly had been styled as the anointed successor to 78-year-old President Alassane Ouattara, who in March signalled he would not seek a third term in office.
But his death has now sparked speculation that Ouattara may opt to run for re-election for a third spell if his party cannot settle on a different successor.
One of the world's major coffee and cocoa producers, Ivory Coast is still marked by the trauma of a brief civil war that erupted in 2011 and left around 3,000 dead.
Former president Henri Konan Bedie, 86, in midweek won the almost unanimous support of the main opposition Democratic Party ( PDCI ).
Former foreign minister Marcel Amon-Tanoh has also announced he will stand.
The elections come two years after violence and fraud allegations marred municipal and regional polls.
Gbagbo himself, freed conditionally by the International Criminal Court (ICC), is trying to obtain a passport so he can return to Ivory Coast.
In early 2019, the International Criminal Court (ICC) cleared Gbagbo of crimes against humanity for the deadly unrest that followed the 2010-11 presidential election result, when he refused to accept defeat and was eventually forced from power.
Sumber : AFP
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