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Ivory Coast: Laurent Gbagbo supporters to file his poll candidacy | News



Supporters of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, who lives in Belgium after being acquitted of war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC) last year, have said they will file his candidacy in his name for the country’s highly anticipated election. 

Political tensions are running high in the world’s top cocoa grower ahead of the October 31 vote, seen as a key test for one of Africa’s most vibrant economies over the past decade.

At least eight people have been killed and about 100 wounded in clashes that have erupted since President Alassane Ouattara announced earlier this month his decision to run for a controversial third term. 

A pro-Gbagbo coalition called Together for Democracy and Sovereignty (EDS) said on Wednesday in a statement “it will submit president Laurent Gbagbo’s candidacy, in line with scheduled procedures”.

Gbagbo’s return to national politics is highly sensitive. 

The country remains scarred by a conflict that erupted after presidential elections in 2010 when Gbagbo – in office since 2000 – refused to accept defeat and hand over power to Ouattara.

About 3,000 people lost their lives in several months of violence that ensued.

Following the civil war, Gbagbo was sent to the ICC to face charges of crimes against humanity. He was freed conditionally by the ICC after he was cleared last year.

The 75-year-old is living in Brussels pending the outcome of an appeal against that decision. In the meantime, he can travel, provided that the country of destination accepts him.

He has not made any public statement about whether he wishes to run again.

‘Definitive no’

In early August, hundreds of protesters had gathered outside the headquarters of the country’s electoral commission to demand Gbagbo, his ally Charles Ble Goude and former Prime Minister Guillaume Soro be included in the electoral list.

The electoral commission said the three were not included because of criminal convictions and that it will consider appeals against their exclusion. But their supporters say Ouattara’s government is trying to silence political opponents before the election.

On Tuesday, a court confirmed the decision of the commission to strike off Gbagbo from the rolls, his lawyer said.

“It’s a definitive no,” Claude Mentenon told AFP news agency, adding that there was no further legal recourse inside Ivory Coast.

Gbagbo was sentenced in absentia to a 20-year term last November for the “looting” of the local branch of the Central Bank of the West African States (BCEAO) during the civil war. 

Candidates for the October 31 elections have until midnight on Monday to file their bid, and do not have to be present physically to do so, the head of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), Ibrahime Coulibaly-Kuibiert, told AFP.

Ouattara, 78, has already filed his candidacy.

He initially said he would not stand again, but changed his mind following the sudden death of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, his anointed successor.

The constitution limits presidents to two terms, but Ouattara and his supporters argue that a 2016 constitutional tweak reset the clock, allowing him to seek a third.

Opposition and civil society groups say his move to stand again in the vote amounts to a “coup”, and his re-election announcement earlier this month sparked deadly protests.

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge



Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.



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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?



The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail



Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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