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Former Ivory Coast President Gbagbo’s Party Calls for Poll Boycott

A man walks near a poster showing portraits of former Ivory coast president Laurent Gbagbo (C) and Former Ivory Coast prime minister Pascal Affi N'Guessan (R), leader of Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) at the FPI headquarters in Abidjan, September 2, 2015.

In Ivory Coast, the party of former President Laurent Gbagbo says it will make sure elections due on October 25 are not held.

Boubacar Kone, interim spokesman of the Ivorian Popular Front party, told VOA the people of Ivory Coast have already begun organizing protests against the vote, seen by many as crucial to return the country to stability since the violence that followed the 2010 presidential vote.

This came after the Constitutional Council released the names of 10 candidates, including President Alassane Ouattara, who will compete in the October election.

Kone said the process is invalid because President Ouattara is not eligible to stand for a second term, according to the constitution.

“What I can say is that this process is very badly started since Mr. Ouattara is not eligible according to our constitution. Secondly, our electoral commission is unbalanced and biased, which means the process is definitely unbalanced and unfair,” he said.

Kone said the Supreme Court rejected President Ouattara’s candidacy in 2000 and since then nothing has changed.

He said Ouattara became president in 2010 only because Gbagbo backed him for the sake of national reconciliation under the guidance of former South African President Thabo Mbeki.

But Kone said the reconciliation process has been stalled by Ouattara’s government.

“The national reconciliation process is boycotted by this process in the sense that more than 700 political opponents are still in jail for strange reasons. You have more than 50,000 of our compatriots abroad in exile, and this environment revolves into a very violent environment because Mr. Ouattara’s people are armed and threatening peace all over the country,” Kone said.

Kone said many of the presidential candidates announced Wednesday are not true opponents of President Ouattara. He said they were put there to distort the electoral process in favor of President Ouattara.

“We are not going to take part in the elections, and I believe the process is not going to stand. The people of Ivory Coast are going to protest. Protests are being organized all over the country against the election,” Kone said.