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CAR: Presidential candidates trade electoral fraud accusations

CAR: Presidential candidates trade electoral fraud accusations

Central African Republic

As the vote-count proceeds in the Central African Republic, two main presidential candidates have started accusing one another of fraud, influence, peddling and intimidation.

Initial results in the hotly contested presidential run-off indicate that Faustin Touadéra is ahead of his main rival Anicet Dologuele.

Addressing a news conference, the spokesman for Dologuele’s party said the party has tangible proof of fraud organised by the adversary in Bangui and in the other provinces.

Saturnin Nomby also said fake polling stations were set up.

“We have received reports of several cases of intimidation with chiefs of armed militias patrolling city districts and villages or in polling stations to influence voting,” he said.

Dologuele’s party has also been accused of holding secret meetings late Monday with Julius Ngouade Baba, a top official in the country’s electoral body, on rigging the results.

The spokesperson however denied the allegation adding that Touadéra’s camp was trying to “fuel a climate tension and undermine the credibility of the institutions” organising the elections.

The electoral process was peaceful throughout the country, with armed soldiers from the U.N. peacekeeping mission deployed in most parts of the country.

The first round of the elections were held on December 30.

The former prime ministers faced off in the second round of elections held on February 14 .

The country, ranked to be among the poorest in the world, plunged into a crisis when Seleka fighters who are mainly Muslim, toppled former president François Bozizé.