CAR cancels legislative elections over 'irregularities'

Central African Republic cancels legislative elections over 'numerous irregularities' Constitutional Court says

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

This file photo taken on December 30, 2015 shows election workers counting votes after the polls closed during the presidential and legislative elections in Bangui's city centre.

Updated Jan 27, 2016

Central African Republic’s Constitutional Court on Monday cancelled last month’s first-round legislative elections over  "irregularities", but second round of the presidential elections will still likely be held.

The election is seen as a neccesary requirement to stabilise the country that has been trying to end the civil war between Christian Anti-Balaka militias and mostly Muslim Seleka rebels.

Although observes have largely admired the election process, the legislative vote was cancelled cause of  "numerous irregularities." Constitutional Court President Zacharie Ndoumba said.

"The (legislative) elections of December 30, 2015 are cancelled and will be rescheduled.... due to many irregularities and the implication of candidates in these irregularities," Ndoumba told the court in the capital Bangui on Monday.

Second round of presidential elections

After the first round of presidential elections, second round is scheduled to be held on Jan 31, a source close to the electoral commission told AFP.

In the first round, two presidential candidates have taken the lead among 30 other candidates.

One of the candidates, Georges Doluguele, who served as prime minister between 1998-2001, won 23.74 percent of the vote followed by Faustin Archange Touadera who was the prime minister from 2008-2013, with 19.42 percent.  

58-year-old Dologuele, a former central banker, known as ‘’Mr.Clean’’ due to his efforts to make public finance more transparent during his time as prime minister. 

Touadera, was a math professor before he served as prime minister until 2013 under ousted Francois Bozize administration.  He is seen as one of the most powerful candidates among 30 others in the presidential vote.

What is going on in Central African Republic?

In March 2013, united opposition group Seleka -mainly Muslim- overthrew President Francois Bozize who has been highly criticised for corruption and human rights abuses. After Seleka came to power and took control of the whole country, a mainly Christian militia group called Anti-Balaka started fighting against Seleka and carried out large scale attacks against Muslims in Central African Republic.

Also as a result of the attacks, hundreds of thousands of Muslim civilians escaped to Chad, Cameroon or have gotten stuck in enclaves.

The Muslim population has been confined to enclaves such as the PK5 district where 130,000 Muslims used to live, but where now only 15,000 remain. Christian Anti-Balaka militias have set up barricades to stop supplies from going in to the district and stop Muslims from leaving.

Pope Francis visited PK5 district to meet the Muslim community during his Africa tour which included visits to Kenya, Uganda and Central African Republic.

International watchdog organisation, Human Rights Watch released a report on November 26, about the recent violence particularly in the PK5 district between September 26 and November 13.

According to the report, at least 100 Muslims had been killed and 1,075 structures, including mosques destroyed around the district. 35,000 people also had been displaced during the same time.


TRTWorld and agencies