Ex-president Gbagbo to run for top job again, despite disqualificationMon, 11 Mar 2024 10:50:03 GMT

Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo has agreed to run for the top job again despite being disqualified by a 20-year jail sentence, his party has announced.Gbagbo was the first former head of state to go on trial before the International Criminal Court in The Hague where he was acquitted in 2019.He “agrees to be the candidate of the PPA-CI” (African People’s Party-Ivory Coast) following a central committee meeting, said a statement released late Sunday.Despite being cleared of crimes against humanity in The Hague, the year before that Gbagbo had been sentenced in Ivory Coast to 20 years in prison for holding up a bank.Gbagbo had lost 2010 elections to Outtara but refused to step down and bloody unrest followed which saw French and UN military intervention.He was pardoned in 2022 by the current president and his old rival Ouattara but not amnestied and can therefore not stand for president next year.His party said it would hold an extraordinary congress to formalise Gbagbo as candidate for the election, which would become its top priority.The party added it would work to have Gbagbo’s name added back to the electoral lists.His 2018 sentence deprived him of his civic rights, removing him from the list.The West African nation’s leading opposition group, the Democratic Party of Ivory Coast (PDCI) appointed Tidjane Thiam as its new president in December.But neither Thiam nor Alassane Ouattara have so far declared their intentions for the 2025 presidential election.