Following the news that Laurent Gbagbo, the former Ivorian President, has been irrevocably removed from the electoral list and hence, will not be able to present himself in the upcoming presidential elections, his supporters have other plans.
Gbagbo could still possibly be in the running for the presidency, as avid supporters who have formed a pro-Gbagbo coalition calling themselves “Together for Democracy and Sovereignty” declared Wednesday that they will file candidacy bid in his name for the upcoming October Elections — supposedly in line with scheduled procedures.
The presidential bid on his behalf could still hold as the head of The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Ibrahim Coulibaly-Kuibiert asserted that one need not be physically present to file.
An interesting update in light of earlier events when the same head of the IEC proclaimed during the presentation of the revision of the electoral list at the beginning of August, "Any person convicted of a misdemeanour or a crime and stripped of their civil rights has been removed from the list."
Sentenced to 20 years in prison for “robbery” of the Central Bank of West African States, during the post-election crisis of 2010, Gbagbo was later acquitted in a court of first instance and has since moved to Brussels in Belgium, Europe where he is still awaiting a possible appeal.
Simone Gbagbo, the former First Lady and spouse of Laurent Gbagbo, requested that current Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara grant her husband amnesty as she expressed her disapproval the trial — which found her partner guilty, that consequently led to this electoral decision, “The arguments used to justify the removal of Laurent Gbagbo's name from the electoral list are highly questionable legal arguments. Moreover, the trial that led to this conviction is itself political and unjustifiable."
The political climate in Côte d'Ivoire has become tense ten years after the post-election crisis that killed more than 3,000 people. The violence that followed the announcement of President Ouattara's candidacy for a third term left at least 8 people dead in August.