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Victor: Faustin Archange Touadera was re-elected president of the Central African Republic, one of the world's poorest and most violence-torn countries

Africa

CAR to hold partial elections on March 14

Bangui, Central African Republic, Feb 13 – The Central African Republic Saturday announced a second round of voting next month for legislative elections in some constituencies as well as a first round where a December ballot was disrupted.

One of the world’s poorest countries, the CAR has been locked in violence since 2013, when its then president, Francois Bozize, was overthrown.

The current government, despite being supported by UN, Russian and Rwandan forces, only controls around a third of the territory.

The second round was set for March 14, President Faustin Archange Touadera said in a decree on Saturday.

Those regions where the December 27 first round was disrupted by rebel violence and other factors will also vote on the same date, it said.

The campaign for the first round will open on February 27 and for the second round on March 6.

Barely a third of the potential ballots were cast in the December first round — and in the presidential election — because of voter intimidation in areas controlled by militias and rebel groups.

The Constitutional Court cancelled the first-round results in 13 out of 140 voting districts because of irregularities. There was no polling in about 50 others because of the security situation.

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Only 22 deputies out of 140 won their seats outright in the first round, of whom only four are from Touadera’s party.

However the court confirmed last month that Touadera had won a second mandate in the first round, with 53.16 percent of the vote.

On February 2, a coalition of opposition parties (COD-2020) announced they were withdrawing from the elections, claiming massive fraud in the first round.

The day after however URCA, one of the main parties in that alliance, announced it would contest the second round parliamentary vote.

URCA is led by Anicet Georges Dologuele, who came second in the presidential election with 21.69 percent of the vote.

Touadera’s decree comes soon after the rebels’ 50-day blockade of the capital Bangui was broken with the arrival of the first aid convoy.

Russian paramilitaries and Rwandan troops have helped government forces recapture a series of towns recently held by fighters from an alliance of six militias, calling itself the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC).

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