Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo plans to set up new political party

Laurent Gbagbo, the ex-president of Ivory Coast, has suggested forming a new political party, his Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), which is riven by severe internal divisions, announced on Monday.

Speaking at a gathering of FPI leaders, Gbagbo criticized his former prime minister, Pascal Affi N’Guessan, who leads one of the groups, and suggested developing a new instrument of struggle in accordance with their “philosophy and aspirations,” the party stated in a statement.

Affi N’Guessan, 68, is the leader of a group known as the “legal” faction, so named because the court authorities recognized his status as party president in 2015

In the opposite camp, there is the “GOR” group, from the French phrase “Gbagbo Or Nothing,” which is supported by grassroots people who ardently support Gbagbo.

Laurent Gbagbo returned to the FPI after completing two-year prison detention for crimes against humanity. However, the “legal” faction of the party claims that he is not the current president of it despite being its founder and member since 1982. Many attempts to bridge the rift following his return have failed, and last week the legal faction mounted a rearguard action.

The former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, who was in power from 2000-11, has been acquitted of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court. The court found him not guilty of crimes relating to post-election violence in Ivory Coast in 2010-2011. He returned to politics in June after being acquitted at the Hague of crimes related to that period.

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