Voting began on Wednesday 30 December in the Central African Republic in an election that is aimed at restoring democratic rule in a divided country gripped by years of violence.
Many had the urge to vote and hoped the elections will bring stability in Central Africa Republic. “I am very moved to see the number of voters coming to the voting station to fulfill their duties as citizens. We are hoping for a transparent and legitimate vote,” said Ernest Bonane, as he voted in the mainly Muslim PK-5 neighbourhood.
There were reports of lack of ballot papers in areas of PK5 which is the second district of the capital. However at 8 a.m local time in CAR everything was sorted and voting began.
Those casting their ballots on Wednesday said they were optimistic.
I am very moved to see the number of voters coming to the voting station to fulfill their duties as citizens
“I am very proud because if, for example, there were no vote today, we would not be free. But if we have voted, we are now free and everyone is happy,” said PK5 resident, Zara Gladiass.
Over two million voters will decide on the outcome of the political crisis which had crippled the country for three years. 30 candidates are vying for the presidential slot, but the race appears to be between three favourites listed below, with 140 contesting the legislative seats.
Former minister and a historical opponent to Bozize has failed to turn the tables since 2001 to 2011. He has been nicknamed “the man fist”. He has been accused of being a puppet to France. At 58 , the candidate to Central African People ‘s Liberation Movement has been in agreement with the former self-proclaimed leader of Balaka Edouard Ngaïssona .
At 58, Anicet-Georges Dologuélé got the support of the Bozize’s party KWA NA KWA (KNK). He was also the Prime Minister of the CAR between 1999 to 2001. Georges has also been the President of the Development Bank of Central African States from 2001 to 2010.
*Abdou Karim Meckassoua *
Abdou Karim Meckassoua was a minister during the regime of Bozizi. He is liked for being rigorous which has also earned him good reputation amongst voters.