Former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, who has been struck off the electoral roll has filed an appeal to be registered to vote in local elections scheduled for September 2. The former Ivorian president said on Thursday that he would not let his name be "sullied".
"I was taken to the ICC with tons of accusations: crimes against humanity, war crimes, rape. All that, but I was there. So I defended myself and I won, I was acquitted. Here they're hiding in secret and they're pinning an accusation on me. No. It's too political, it's not worthy of being called a trial" Gbagbo, said. "No, no and no I won't let my name be sullied without a fight. I'm still standing!" he hammered in a statement to the press, after lodging an appeal in person at an office of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) in Abidjan.
Although Mr. Gbagbo has been acquitted by international justice of crimes against humanity committed during the bloody post-election crisis of 2010-2011, he remains under a 20-year prison sentence handed down in his absence in Côte d'Ivoire. The conviction, handed down in 2018 while he was imprisoned in The Hague, had led to the forfeiture of his civic and political rights.
"Today, what President Bedié, Ouattara and I have to do is behave in such a way that we leave a peaceful Côte d'Ivoire to the younger generations. That must be our goal. Our goal is no longer to beat each other up. That time has passed" added the former Ivorian leader.
Some eight million voters are due to go to the polls in Côte d'Ivoire on September 2 to renew municipal and regional councils.
The next presidential election is scheduled for 2025.