ABIDJAN - Following months of speculation that Ivory Coast's ex-President Laurent Gbagbo might return to the country to run for office again, his political party has chosen a different candidate for October's election.

Mr Gbagbo lives in Belgium, after being acquitted of war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC) last year.

The Ivorian Popular Front says it has instead selected Mr Gbagbo's former prime minister, Pascal Affi N'Guessan, as its candidate.

The election is seen as the biggest test of the country's stability since a civil war 10 years ago.

It was sparked by Mr Gbagbo's refusal to step down following a disputed run-off election.

October's vote is still likely to be a controversial vote as the incumbent, Alassane Ouattara, is expected to stand even though his opponents say the constitution bars him from a third term. Former President Henri Konan Bedie is also a candidate.(FA)