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Central Africans react to announcement of referendum in July

Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadéra   -  
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LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP or licensors

Central African Republic

Central Africans are divided following president Faustin-Archange Touadéra's announcement on Tuesday that he would call a referendum on a new Constitution.

One of the changes is that the new constitution would allow the president to run for a third term, prohibited under the current rules.

"The Constitution of this country is very clear, President Touadéra completed his five year term, the first five year term with the same Constitution that he ran for office. He proved himself, he reached his limits at the end of this mandate. Normally, he had to leave the Constitution of the country like that and leave room for someone else to come and continue the rest, and manage the country in his place", saidStéphane Lopez Dawili, a member of the opposition party.

The government maintains that the amendments are necessary and that it's up to the president to decide if he wants to run for third term.

"By definition, the Constitution, like all the norms of positive law, has a general and impersonal character. We do not draft or vote a Constitution in relation to an individual. The Constitution is general and impersonal. It’s not voting for President Touadéra. And now if he decides to run for office, that’s a personal matter", added Alexis Ndui Yabela, member of the ruling party.

President Touadéra was elected in 2016 and then re-elected in 2020, although fewer than one in three voters were able to go to the polls for security reasons. Critics claim Touadéra is seeking re-election in 2025.

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