An Ivorian court on Monday in Abidjan, gave an order stopping former President Laurent Gbagbo, from contesting the presidency of his party, the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI).
The order followed a case filed by FPI’s current President, Pascal N’guessan challenging Gbagbo’s legibility to contest the position while in detention.
NAN reports that some members of the party had collected and completed nomination form for Gbagbo in preparation for the party’s congress.
N’guessan, who is also seeking re-election, is of the view that Gbagbo, who is currently in the custody of the International Criminal Court (ICC), could not contest the position.
The court held that the completion of the nomination form for Gbagbo by some members was illegal since it did not possess his personal handwriting and signature.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the FPI, Cote d’Ivoire’s major opposition party is facing internal crisis following moves to elect a new president.
The party is now polarised along the lines of pro-Gbagbo and pro-N’guessan groups, with the former accusing N’guessan of plotting to support President Alassane Ouattara in the 2015 presidential election.
Speaking to newsmen, the defense lawyer, Mr Didier Botuaffon, said he would go on appeal, describing the court’s decision as unfair and against the provisions of the law.
Also reacting, Hubert Oulaye, Chairman of FPI’s Congress Control Committee said the decision signaled state’s intrusion in the internal activities of the opposition party.