This was announced on Monday, January 4, by the representatives of the National Electoral Commission of the Central African Republic (CAR). Thus, the current head of state will rule the country for another 5 years.
Presidential elections in the CAR were held on January 27. The counting of votes took just over a week and 17 candidates participated in the elections. The voter turnout was 76,31 percent. Provocations and attempts to disrupt the voting had evidently failed. The CAR has held legally valid elections, which will strengthen state institutions in the country.
Despite the fact that the current president Faustin Archange Touadera is the tenth head of state of the CAR, he is in fact the first head of state in 20 years, elected by direct popular vote in compliance with all necessary procedures. His re-election and the holding of legitimate elections is a sign that the situation in the CAR is normalizing against all the odds.
There has been unrest in the African state since December because former president François Bozizé was not allowed to run again. Bozizé, who came to power in 2003 in a coup d’état, had previously been accused of “crimes against humanity and incitement of genocide” in the CAR and is still under UN sanctions. However, he is considered a pro-French politician.
On the eve of election day, rebel groups and opposition groups affiliated with this faction, tried to revolt and even captured several settlements. However, later those affected in some of these areas, according to the official authorities, were released. The UN and the CAR authorities accused François Bozizé of organizing the uprising. A number of groups comprising of local fighters and mercenaries from Chad united in the Coalition of Patriots for Change (Coalition des Patriotes pour le Changement (CPC)) had sided with him.
However, the CAR authorities, with the support of UN peacekeepers (MINUSCA), instructors from Russia and additional troops from Rwanda, were able to ensure the security of the elections.
Most of the polling stations functioned successfully, and residents were able to vote. All observers, including international observers, recorded numerous queues at the polling stations. The high turnout was attributed to the fact that, for the first time in years, the people of CAR sensed the potential for development in the country.
Senior officials from the African Union, Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), United Nations and European Union “noted that Central African citizens have demonstrated their determination to exercise their right to vote, despite the many obstacles,” the UN stated.