Electoral Discord in the Central African Republic
Ten opposition candidates in the Central African Republic on Tuesday called for the “outright cancellation and resumption" of the December 27 presidential and legislative elections citing "numerous irregularities".
It comes a day after incumbent President Faustin Archange Touadéra was announced the winner of the first round of the vote with 53.92% by the Election Authority (ANE).
Voting in the tense election took place amid an offensive by armed groups in rural areas, which were out of reach of government control.
Foul Play at the Polls?
The opposition camps said in a statement there were "numerous irregularities that marred the elections" as on the day of this double ballot, voting could only take place or be counted in less than one out of two polling stations.
In addition, numerous exemptions were granted by the ANE to voters to cast their ballots elsewhere than in their constituencies.
They said "out of a total of 1,858,436 registered (...), only 695,019 were able to vote, corresponding to a participation rate of 37% and not the 76.31% announced by ANE" and said therefore "we do not recognize the results published by the ANE."
Touadéra's Proclaimed Victory Not Recognised
As per the aforementioned issues, the candidates — including Anicet Georges Dologuélé and Martin Ziguélé, two former Prime Ministers who came in second and third respectively according to the electoral body, out of 17 contenders in total, “do not recognise the results published by the ANE."
The election result has yet to be certified by the Constitutional Court after the appeals.
The country has been in the grips of a civil war for eight years.
Two-thirds of CAR are controlled by armed groups, the main ones launched a new offensive eight days before the elections.