The former President of Cote d’Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo, has declared his intention to contest the 2025 presidential election in the West African country.
Gbagbo’s spokesman, Katinan Kone, disclosed that the former President, on Saturday, March 9, 2024, agreed to lead the party he founded into the 2025 presidential election.
Gbagbo, President of Cote d’Ivoire from 2000 to 2011, launched his African People’s Party-Cote d’Ivoire (PPA-CI) in 2021 following his acquittal on war crimes charges by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and return from a decade abroad.
The 78-year-old former president was acquitted in 2019 by the Netherlands-based ICC on charges relating to his role in a civil war sparked by his refusal to concede defeat in an election.
Gbagbo lost control of the party he previously founded, the Ivorian Popular Front (IPF), to a former ally while imprisoned and awaiting trial in the Netherlands for several years, but he retains a large and loyal base of supporters at home.
The election is expected to be held in October 2025.
President Alassane Ouattara, who was re-elected in 2020, has not yet said whether he will run again.
Another possible contender is Tidjane Thiam, former chief executive of Swiss bank Credit Suisse, who in December became president of the PDCI, one of Cote d’Ivoire’s main opposition parties, though the party has not yet formally designated its chosen candidate.
The 61-year-old former banker will seek the party’s nomination to run for president at a forthcoming convention, he said in an interview with Paris-based newspaper Le Monde on Monday.
Politics in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa grower, has been dominated for more than two decades by two men: current President 82-year-old Alassane Ouattara, and Laurent Gbagbo.
Gbagbo returned to Ivory Coast in 2021 after being acquitted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity committed during a conflict that erupted when he refused to concede defeat in a 2010 election. He’s since been pardoned by Ouattara, but has yet to have his civic rights restored — a necessary step to vote and to run for office.
Thiam spoke after a meeting with Ouattara on Monday, saying he’s prepared to “build on the progress” Ivory Coast has made under the incumbent’s leadership.

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