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Past Presidents in the Running for Ivorian Poll

The party of former president Laurent Gbagbo, who was acquitted of war crimes by the International Criminal Court last year, on Wednesday called for him to run for president in the October elections. It was not yet clear if Gbagbo, who resides in Belgium, will accept the FPI party’s recommendation and return to Ivory Coast. The Oct. 31 election is seen as a key test of Ivory Coast’s stability and its ability to shake off a turbulent past. But an old guard of politicians remains in the race in the world’s top cocoa producer. Octogenarian former President Henri Konan Bedie last month said he will be running. Current President Alassane Ouattara, who had said he would run in October if Bedie and Gbagbo did, announced in March that he would not seek re-election. His opponents say running again would violate constitutional limits.