Ivory Coast opposition to launch protest

WEB_PHOTO_Laurent Gbagbo_17032018

A supporter of former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo sits next to a banner reading "Gbagbo is better" in Abidjan on April 11, 2017.

A supporter of former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo sits next to a banner reading "Gbagbo is better" in Abidjan on April 11, 2017.

WEB_PHOTO_Laurent Gbagbo_17032018

A supporter of former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo sits next to a banner reading "Gbagbo is better" in Abidjan on April 11, 2017.

A supporter of former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo sits next to a banner reading "Gbagbo is better" in Abidjan on April 11, 2017.

ABIDJAN – Ivory Coast opposition activists on Saturday called a "democratic march" for next week ahead of senatorial, municipal and regional elections and as the country begins to look forward to presidential polls in 2020.

About 3,000 people died when rival supporters clashed on the streets of Abidjan following the country&39;s disputed 2010 presidential elections with former president Laurent Gbagbo currently on trial in The Hague for crimes against humanity stemming from the violence.

President of the opposition coalition Together for Democracy and Sovereignty (EDS) Armand Ouegnin called Thursday&39;s march to "express our unhappiness" about the electoral commission which it accuses of political bias.

Senatorial elections will be held on March 24 with the other polls due to be held later in 2018.

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The EDS opposition coalition groups a number of parties including Gbagbo&39;s Ivorian Popular Front (FPI).

Ouegnin made the call at a meeting at which activists called for free and fair polls.

"We are asking for the electoral commission to be reorganised," FPI leader Abdoudramane Sangare said, adding that the accuracy of electoral lists and security issues were also matters of concern.

Gbagbo is accused of inciting a wave of post-electoral violence when he refused to step down after losing the 2010 election to bitter rival Alassane Ouattara.

The unrest wracked the Ivory Coast for five months from December 2010 until early 2011, after Gbagbo refused to accept his internationally recognised defeat.