Former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo has applied for a passport so he can visit Ivory Coast, according to a statement by his lawyer reported by CGTN. Gbagbo, ousted after refusing to recognize an election won by current president Alassane Ouattara in 2010, was acquitted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of crimes against humanity. The ICC conditionally released Gbagbo, who is currently based in Belgium.
Most recently, Gbagbo’s former party, the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), has offered to back Gbagbo were he to run in the Oct. 31 presidential election.
The election calculus was upset most recently by the death of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, widely held to be president Ouattara’s choice as the candidate for the RHDP, the ruling party. AFP reports that RHDP has officially nominated Ouattara, though he has yet to accept the nomination but was reported by Reuters as saying, “You know I have never disappointed you,” as he asked for time to consider the question.