During an extraordinary meeting on Monday in Treichville-Abidjan, the co-founder of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) and former President of the Republic, Laurent Gbagbo, proposed a new party creation to overcome the division with the party wing led by Pascal Affi N’Guessan.
“We will call the FPI differently. We will continue to fight. Decentralization, industrialization, freedoms. We are the FPI.” Gbagbo said, proposing to the Party Central Committee to create a new instrument of struggle following their ideology and ambition.
Today in opposition, the FPI was co-founded in 1982 by Laurent and Simone Ehivet Gbagbo, together with other militants when the Ivory Coast was still led by Felix Houphouet-Boigny’s single-party PDCI-RDA.
Following the electoral crisis of 2010-2011, which opposed outgoing president Gbagbo and rival Alassane Dramane Ouattara, the FPI was divided between a wing sided with Pascal Affi N’Guessan, the so-called “legal” FPI, and that remained loyal to Gbagbo, arrested in April 2011 and subjected to a long trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC) until his acquittal on March 31.
At yesterday’s meeting, Laurent Gbagbo deplored “the behavior of some comrades who are at the antipodes of our ideology” and accused N’Guessan of having “confiscated” the only instrument of political struggle “by relying on its so-called legality”.
Accusing N’Guessan of holding the FPI hostage, Gbagbo specified that he did not want to engage in a legal battle but rather create a new body. For this, he asked the Central Committee to authorize the establishment of a preparatory committee for the constitutive Congress.
For his part, Issiaka Sangaré, general secretary of the FPI pro-N’Guessan, deplored that Gbagbo continues to consider himself the party leader.
He was indignant that Gbagbo has called a meeting to which he associates the name of the FPI and its bodies, despite the request for a hearing presented more than two weeks ago by the president of the party, to discuss with him the internal crisis and the future of the FPI. “This attempted transition into force is an unacceptable contempt,” Issiaka Sangaré said in a note reported by AfrikSoir.
Pascal Affi N ‘Guessan, wing President of the Ivorian Popular Front called “legal,” instead assured the militants and sympathizers of the FPI, national and international opinion the firm will to continue his mission for the rebirth of the party given the regaining of power in 2025. If Gbagbo founds a new party, the FPI would remain in Affi N’Guessan. “For my part, said N’Guessan, I will continue to fight for the values of democracy and progress that we once shared.”
Affi N’Guessan, former prime minister of Laurent Gbagbo, has held the presidency of the FPI since 2014. But a large slice of party sympathizers preferred to remain loyal to Gbagbo, who returned to Ivory Coast last June 17 after about ten years of forced exile.