Supporters of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo and those supporting former rebel leader, Guillaume Soro have filed their candidacies for President.
Gbagbo is currently living in Belgium after he was acquitted of war crimes by the International Criminal Court last year.
He has been refused entry into the country but his supporters have formed a pro-Gbagbo group to push his candidacy for the October presidential election.
“We have just submitted the candidacy file of our political leader, [former] President Laurent Gbagbo, the father of democracy in Ivory Coast,” said Georges-Armand Ouegnin, president of the pro-Gbagbo coalition called Together for Democracy and Sovereignty (EDS).
On Monday supporters of Guillaume Soro who has also been barred from running and now lives in exile in France also filed his candidacy.
His spokeswoman Aminata Kone-Zie accused the government of attempts “to make our president [Soro] ineligible under an alleged criminal conviction”.
But both men have been already disqualified by the electoral commission due to their criminal convictions.
According to the president of the electoral commission, Ibrahime Coulibaly-Kuibiert, anyone convicted of a crime would not be allowed to stand.
Mr. Gbagbo was sentenced in absentia in November 2019 for the “looting” of the Central Bank of West African States.
He was convicted of the crime following a disputed 2010 election that resulted in brief civil war.
Soro has also been convicted of attempting to overthrow the government, forcing him to flee the country.
Their candidacy may not be approved by the Constitutional Court in order for them to contest President Alassane Ouattara in the October 31 vote.
The Constitutional Council has 15 days to release the list of approved candidates for the election.
Opposition leaders – Pascal Affi N’Guessan of the Ivorian Popular Front party of former President Laurent Gbagbo and former President Henri Konan Bedie, 86, for the PDCI-RDA party have all filed their candidacies.
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