Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo has proposed the creation of a new political party, his Front populaire ivoirien (FPI), which suffers from deep internal divisions, said Monday.
Speaking at a meeting of FPI leaders, Gbagbo attacked his former prime minister, Pascal Affi N’Guessan, who heads one of the factions, and proposed to “create a new instrument of struggle in line with our ideology and our ambitions, “the party said in a statement.
Affi N’Guessan, 68, heads a so-called “legal” faction, a term that stems from the recognition by the judicial authorities of his post as party chairman in 2015.
The other side is the so-called “GOR” faction – French words meaning “Gbagbo or nothing” – backed by members of the base who fervently support the former president.
Gbagbo, who was in power from 2000-11, dramatically returned to Ivorian politics in June after being acquitted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague of crimes against humanity resulting from the post-election violence of 2010-2011.
During his years in prison in The Hague, a deep divide developed within the FPI, which Gbagbo founded in 1982. Many attempts to bridge the divide after Gbagbo’s return failed, and last week, the “legal” faction mounted rearguard action after Gbagbo called a high-level meeting of the party leadership.
The faction claimed that Gbagbo, despite his status as a “founding member of the party”, was not the current president.