Côte d’Ivoire: Pascal Affi N’Guessan candidate of a divided FPI

The Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) has just nominated Pascal Affi N’Guessan for the presidential election next October. With three months to go before the elections, however, the FPI remains divided, especially since the absence of Laurent Gbagbo’s name on the electoral lists is causing a stir.

On the stage of the Palais de la Culture in Abidjan, many artists, executives and activists of the FPI succeeded each other all afternoon to call for the candidacy of Pascal Affi N’Guessan for the presidential election next October.

They thus “considered that comrade Pascal Affi N’Guessan, candidate for the candidacy remained constant in his determination to defend and promote the party’s ideal and image”.

The president of the FPI agreed to wear the party’s colors without much surprise, since he was the only candidate in contention. “I have the necessary experience to serve Côte d’Ivoire. And we will win,” he said.

But this enthusiasm does not veil the divisions that persist between the “renovators” represented by Affi N’Guessan, who are involved in political life and have taken legal control of the party, and the partisans of former President Laurent Gbagbo, transferred to The International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2011, known as “GOR” (Gbagbo or nothing). “We do not follow Affi N’Guessan to forget Laurent Gbagbo. We have to move forward!” the “renovators” argue.

Affi’s supporters accuse the “GOR” of endangering the party’s future by refusing any alternative to the former president.

Electoral Commission communications officer Kigbafori Inza confirmed to RFI that Gbagbo has indeed been removed from the lists, along with 711 other Ivorian citizens.

At each revision, the Department of Justice sends the names of those who no longer have the right to vote, especially after a conviction. Article 4 of the new Electoral Code, therefore, concerns the former president Gbagbo who was found guilty in 2018 in the case of the “BCEAO robbery”.

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