2020–21 Central African general election

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2020–21 Central African general election

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14 February 2021 (second round)
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  Faustin-Archange Touadera Summit 2018 (cropped).jpg Anicet Georges Dologuele 2015 (cropped).jpg Martin ZIGUELE.JPG
Nominee Faustin-Archange Touadéra Anicet-Georges Dologuélé Martin Ziguélé
Popular vote 346,687 135,081 47,948
Percentage 53.92% 21.01% 7.46%

President and National Assembly before election

Faustin-Archange Touadéra

Elected President and National Assembly

Faustin-Archange Touadéra

Template:Politics of the Central African Republic

General elections were held in the Central African Republic on 27 December 2020 to elect the President and National Assembly.[1][2] A second round of the legislative elections will take place on 14 February 2021.[3]

Voting was not able to take place in many areas of the country controlled by armed group resulting in some Central African media and opposition candidates describing the elections as farce and fraud.[4][5] Some 800 of the country's polling stations, 14% of the total, were closed due to violence,[6] and during the first round, voting was unable to take place in 29 of the 71 sub-prefectures, while six others only managed to partially vote before being shut down due to voter intimidation.[7]

Preliminary results on 4 January 2021 showed that President Touadera won reelection with 54% of the vote. Turnout was 76.3% of registered voters.[8]

Background[edit source | edit]

The previous presidential elections were the first to be held under the 2015 constitution, which established the 6th Republic. Faustin-Archange Touadéra was the winner, and took office on March 30, 2016.

Several obstacles affected the election process. The December 2020 election took place during the Covid-19 pandemic, raising fears of postponement. However, the constitution prohibits any further extension of the term of the incumbent president beyond his term of office, which for Touadéra is 29 March 2021. The government attempted to amend the constitution,[9] but the draft was rejected by the Constitutional Court on June 5, 2020.[10] In addition, the country is also still subject to a UN peacekeeping operation, MINUSCA, while two-thirds of the country is controlled by rebellious armed groups.[11][12]

In early September, the Constitutional Court gave the National Elections Authority (ANE) until September 27 to publish an updated voter registry.[13] On September 10, the opposition and several civil society groups publicly observed that the election would probably be delayed; in the event that the presidential and parliamentary terms would be extended, they demanded the formation of a unity government.[14] For its part, the ANE announced that the results would be delayed until October 8 due to technical issues, but the vote would not be postponed.[15] The first round remained set for December 27, 2020 by the ANE.[16]

Electoral system[edit source | edit]

The President of the Central African Republic is elected by a two-round system for a five-year term, renewable only once. The candidate who receives an absolute majority of the votes cast in the first ballot is elected. If not, a runoff is held between the top two candidates to decide the winner.[17][18]

Presidential candidates[edit source | edit]

On 3 December 2020, the Constitutional Court of Central African Republic accepted 17 candidatures for presidential elections:

Five candidatures were rejected, including that of former president François Bozizé.[19] He had announced his candidacy on 25 July 2020.[20]

Conduct[edit source | edit]

The rebel group Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation banned voter registration for incoming elections from taking place in Koui and Ngaoundaye.[21]

On 6 August 2020 UPC banned voter registration from taking in place in Bambouti in Haut-Mbomou demanding ransom.[22] As of 15 October only 700 people were able to register to vote in Haut-Mbomou prefecture as a result of UPC and LRA presence in region.[23]

The leaders of Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation announce a coalition for the general election, a move that increase tensions ahead of the election, where the opposition fears massive voter fraud. The armed groups named themselves the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) and invited other armed groups to join, while urging them to protect the integrity of civilians.[24] Their aim was to pressure the government into postponing the elections.[25][26] The coalition fought against MINUSCA peacekeepers as well as Russian and Rwandan troops until a ceasefire was declared on December 23.[25]

On 25 December, two days before the elections, unidentified armed gunmen attacked national security forces and international peacekeepers serving with the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic in Dékoa, central Kémo Prefecture, and Bakouma, southern Mbomou Prefecture. Three Burundian peacekeepers were killed and an additional two were wounded. The attack occurred hours after a rebel coalition fighting the government called off a unilateral truce and reiterated calls for the suspension of the election.[27][28]

The attacks on the peacekeepers followed a general surge in violence across the Central African Republic, over the past few weeks, during which aid workers and properties have also been attacked. The insecurity and fear of violence has led to more than 55,000 people fleeing their homes.[28]

During the first round, voting was unable to take place in 29 of the 71 sub-prefectures according to Augustin Yangana-Yahote, the Minister for Territorial Administration. Six others only managed to partially vote before being shut down due to voter intimidation.[7]

Observers noted possible irregularities in the conduct of the election. An observer group reported that a large number of voters cast ballots with letters of exemption in Bangui. The procedure allows voters to cast their ballot elsewhere than the polling station where they are registered. According to the Rainbow Network, 81 percent of the votes were cast in this manner. Coordinating member of the same network, Origine Bekondi said, "Three days before the end of the mandate of the members of the ANE (the National Elections Authority), the president of the ANE proceeded to issue deregistration certificates to voters who had voted massively."[29]

Results[edit source | edit]

According to provisional results announced on January 4 by the National Elections Authority, Faustin-Archange Touadéra was re-elected for a second term with 53.92 percent of the vote. Anicet-Georges Dologuélé came second. Turnout among registered voters was 76.3%.[30]

On January 18 the Constitutional Court confirmed President Faustin Archange Touadera's victory with 53.16% of the vote but said turnout was 35.25%. Anicet Georges Dologuele had 21.69%. The court rejected a suit filed by 13 of the 16 other candidates, who argued that Touadera's victory was the result of "massive fraud" and insecurity. They annulled or revised the results from certain polling stations because of irregularities but said the impact could not have affected the overall outcome. Chief Judge Daniele Darlan declared, "Part of the Central African people, who are at war, were prevented by acts of terror... and despite this, the people sent a strong and clear message to those who were terrorising them, to those who were telling them not to vote, and to the whole world."[31]

A coalition opposition political parties, COD 2020, accused the U.N.'s representative, Mankeur Ndiaye, of favouring Touadera but did not present evidence.[31] The streets of Bangui were far quieter than usual, and many people said they feared rebel attacks. Rebels had attacked a location on the city's outskirts before being pushed back on January 13.[31] Since December 2020, 60,000 people have fled the violence, many seeking refuge in the Democratic Republic of Congo.[31]

President[edit source | edit]

Faustin-Archange TouadéraUnited Hearts Movement346,68753.92
Anicet-Georges DologuéléUnion for Central African Renewal135,08121.01
Martin ZiguéléMovement for the Liberation of the Central African People47,9487.46
Désiré KolingbaCentral African Democratic Rally24,3813.79
Crépin Mboli GoumbaPATRIE20,2983.16
Sylvain PatasséCentral Africa New Momentum9,2501.44
Augustin AgouRenaissance for Sustainable Development9,0091.40
Jean-Serge BokassaKodro Ti Mo Kozo Si8,9071.39
Mahamat KamounCentral Africa for All of Us7,8331.22
Alexandre-Ferdinand NguendetRally for the Republic6,9841.09
Catherine Samba-PanzaIndependent5,5260.86
Karim MeckassouaPath of Hope5,1530.80
Eloi AnguimatéNational Convention3,9750.62
Serge DjorieCAPNCA3,6730.57
Cyriaque GondaNational Party for a New Central Africa3,2650.51
Reboas AristideChristian Democratic Party2,5930.40
Nicolas TiangayeRepublican Convention for Social Progress2,3930.37
Valid votes642,95692.49
Invalid/blank votes52,1707.51
Total votes695,126100.00
Registered voters/turnout910,78476.32
Source: ANE (2,560 of 5,448 polling stations declared)

Reactions and aftermath[edit source | edit]

Former president Bozizé, who had been barred from running, was put under investigation after the results were announced; he was accused of aiding the armed coalitions that attempted to disrupt the election.[32] His location was unknown in early January, amid accusations by the UN that he was colluding with the rebels.[33]

After the publication of the results, Dologuele told AFP that the electoral process was a farce. [34] According to local journalist Fridolin Ngoulou, however, Mr Touadéra's victory was likely to prove lasting. Ngoulou commented: "Touadéra's vote was the expression of people fed up with armed groups who want to impose a setback for democracy. Touadéra will retain power as the entire international community supports these elections."[33]

Fighting between rebel groups and the CAR's national army has continued around the country since the election. The rebels declared an intent to take the war to Bangui, but a combination of the army, UN peacekeepers and Russian troops have prevented them from doing so.[33]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. "Elections 2020: The Central African President resolved more than ever". Afrique Panorama. 4 January 2020. (in French)
  2. "Central African Republic: The National Elections Authority unveils the provisional calendar of coupled elections". Corbeau News Centrafrique. 18 November 2019. (in French)
  3. "Code électoral de la République Centrafricaine (Titre 2, Chapitre 1, Art. 131)" (PDF). Droit-Afrique.com (in French). 20 August 2019. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  4. "Centrafrique : « ces élections, c'est une escroquerie politique », dixit le candidat à la présidentielle Martin Ziguélé". Le Tsunami. 29 December 2020.
  5. "Élections en Centrafrique: la légitimité du scrutin, perturbé en province, divise à Bangui". Corbeau News Centrafrique. 29 December 2020.
  6. "CAR violence forced closure of 800 polling stations: Commission". Al Jazeera. 28 December 2020. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Central African Republic opposition coalition demands elections be scrapped". eNCA. Agence France-Presse. 30 December 2020. Retrieved 1 January 2021 – via eNCA.
  8. "Central African Republic President Touadera wins re-election". msn.com. Reuters. 4 January 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  9. "Centrafrique, la recherche d'un consensus électoral". Mondafrique. mondafrique. 23 May 2020. Retrieved 18 August 2020.CS1 maint: date and year (link).
  10. "En Centrafrique, la modification de la Constitution est rejetée". RFI. 5 June 2020. Retrieved 9 June 2020.CS1 maint: date and year (link).
  11. "Centrafrique : l'appel au dialogue". www.cameroon-tribune.cm. Retrieved 18 August 2020..
  12. "En Centrafrique, la MINUSCA poursuit son appui au processus électoral". ONU Info. 23 July 2020. Retrieved 18 August 2020.CS1 maint: date and year (link).
  13. "Vers un report de la présidentielle et des législatives en Centrafrique?". RFI. RFI. 10 September 2020. Retrieved 22 September 2020.CS1 maint: date and year (link).
  14. "Centrafrique: vers un glissement des élections ?". RFI. RFI. 12 September 2020. Retrieved 22 September 2020.CS1 maint: date and year (link).
  15. "Centrafrique : incertitude sur la tenue de la présidentielle fin décembre". TV5MONDE. 18 September 2020. Retrieved 22 September 2020.CS1 maint: date and year (link).
  16. Jocelyne Nadège Kokada, RJDH, Arrivée à Bangui de 12 milles urnes et d’autres matériels pour les élections du 27 décembre prochain, 3 décembre 2020
  17. SCDGSL (March 2015). "projet-constitution-RCA-adopte-par-CNT-2015" (PDF). www.sangonet.com. Retrieved 18 August 2020.CS1 maint: date and year (link).
  18. "Code électoral de 2019" (PDF). www.droit-afrique.com. Retrieved 29 December 2020..
  19. "RCA : présidentielle du 27 décembre, la Cour Constitutionnelle publie la liste définitive des candidats". 3 December 2020.
  20. "Central African Republic's ousted leader Bozizé to run for president again". France 24. 25 July 2020. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  21. Central African Republic: 3R Rebels In Accused Of Perturbing Electoral Registration
  22. "Centrafrique : les rebelles de l'UPC empêchent le démarrage des opérations d'enrôlement des électeurs à Bambouti". 6 August 2020.
  23. "RCA : élections présidentielles et législatives dans le Haut-Mbomou, le doute persiste, et l'inquiétude domine". 15 October 2020.
  24. "CAR says ex-president attempting 'coup' as rebels form coalition". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Gaël Grilhot (24 December 2020). "Centrafrique : à Bangui, peur sur la ville". Le Monde..
  26. Cyril Bensimon (26 December 2020). "En Centrafrique, le pari des élections à tout prix". Le Monde..
  27. "Three UN peacekeepers killed in CAR ahead of Sunday's elections". www.aljazeera.com. Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera. 26 December 2020. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  28. 28.0 28.1 "UN chief condemns attacks against peacekeepers in the Central African Republic". UN News. UN News. United Nations News Service. 26 December 2020. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  29. "Central African Republic: Observer group notes possible election irregularities". Africanews. 30 December 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  30. AfricaNews (4 January 2021). "Central African Republic President Touadéra wins re-election". Africanews. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 "C.Africa court confirms Touadera win, but only one-third turnout". msn.com. AFP. 18 January 2021. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  32. AfricaNews (4 January 2021). "Central African Republic's ex-president Bozizé investigated for 'rebellion'". Africanews. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Losh, Jack (7 January 2021). "Central African Republic: A disputed election and a strange rebel alliance". BBC News.
  34. "Touadera re-elected as Central African Republic president". The East African. 5 January 2021. Retrieved 5 January 2021.

Template:Central African Republic elections

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