Ex-Ivory Coast President Gbagbo agrees to contest 2025 election

Former President Laurent Gbagbo may be a rallying figure for the opposition movement in Cote d'Ivoire. Sia Kambou/AFP via Getty Images

March 9, 2024 — Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo agreed on Saturday to lead the party he founded into the 2025 presidential elections.

This was disclosed to Reuters by spokesman Katinan Kone following a meeting of the party’s central committee.

Gbagbo, president of the West African country from 2000 to 2011, launched his African People’s Party – Cote d’Ivoire (PPA-CI) in 2021 following his acquittal on war crimes charges by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and return from a decade abroad.

He was acquitted in 2019 by the Netherlands-based ICC on charges relating to his role in a civil war sparked by his refusal to concede defeat in an election.

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Gbagbo lost control of the party he previously founded, the Ivorian Popular Front (IPF), to a former ally while imprisoned awaiting trial in the Netherlands for several years, but he retains a large and loyal base of supporters at home.

The election is expected to be held in October 2025. President Alassane Ouattara, who was re-elected in 2020, has not yet said whether he will run again.

Another possible contender is Tidjane Thiam, former chief executive of Swiss bank Credit Suisse, who in December became president of the PDCI, one of Ivory Coast’s main opposition parties, though the party has not yet formally designated its chosen candidate.