Ivory Coast: Gbagbo’s party calls for election boycott

Ivory Coast Gbagbo's party calls for election boycottA faction of former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo’s party, Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) is boycotting the upcoming October 25 presidential election.

The party members called on Tuesday for a boycott of the presidential election because it says the prevailing political and security conditions are not conducive to a peaceful, transparent and credible poll.

“The Ivorian Popular Front … asks its militants, sympathizers and the sovereign people of Côte d’Ivoire not to associate themselves with an election farce with unforeseeable consequences,” the party said in a statement.

“Former president Gbagbo’s party is not taking part in this election in the current condition in the sense that the electoral commission is unbalanced, the Constitutional Court [is] … made up of Mr. Ouattara’s friends and cannot be fair, the census for the voters is biased. There are so many problems we have to solve first,” the statement said.

Gbagbo’s party is also split, according to FPI spokesman Boubakar Kone. Hardliners led by Gbagbo’s former foreign minister Aboudramane Sangare have refused to recognize Pascal Affi N’Guessan as the FPI’s leader.

The FPI has boycotted presidential and legislative elections since former President Gbagbo was sent to the International Criminal Court for trial. He faces charges that include crimes against humanity in unrest following the disputed October 2010 elections.