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Gbagbo returns to politics. What it means for Côte d’Ivoire

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Former president Laurent Gbagbo may be a rallying figure for opposition movement in Cote d’Ivoire. In early August the former president of Côte d’Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo, floated the idea of creating a new political party . Gbagbo’s comments came after his return to Côte d’Ivoire on 26 June after nearly 10 years of facing charges at the International Criminal Court.

In July 2019, the court acquitted him of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape and “other inhuman acts” during the 2010-2011 post-election violence.

Gbagbo’s return was sealed when the court’s Appeals Chamber confirmed the acquittal in March 2021. And President Alassane Ouattara gave him a diplomatic passport .

Gbagbo’s announcement confirms his interest in exercising political influence in a country where the opposition is divided and the president faces criticism for obtaining a third term.

The prospect of a new political party with Gbagbo’s blessing could unify the opposition and pose a formidable challenge to Ouattara and his ruling coalition. It is also likely to enhance political participation and interest, which has trailed off during successive opposition defeats and boycotts. Party divisions

Côte d’Ivoire has three main political parties: the Front Populaire Ivoirien, Ouattara’s Rassemblement des Républicains and its coalition partner the Parti […]

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