Central African Republic's President Faustin-Archange Touadéra. Picture: REUTERS/LUC GNAGO
Central African Republic's President Faustin-Archange Touadéra. Picture: REUTERS/LUC GNAGO

Bangui — Central African Republic (CAR) President Faustin-Archange Touadéra has won five more years in power by securing more than 53% of votes in an election that was marred by violence, according to provisional results announced on Monday.

The electoral commission declared Touadéra the winner of the December 27 election, saying he had secured enough votes in the first round to make a second round runoff unnecessary in the gold- and diamond-producing country.

Touadéra has struggled to wrest control of vast swathes of the country from armed militias since first winning power in 2016, three years after former president François Bozizé was ousted by another rebellion.

The presidential election went ahead despite an offensive by rebel groups who tried to disrupt the vote after Bozizé’s candidacy was rejected by the country’s highest court.

“Faustin-Archange Touadéra, having received the absolute majority of the vote in the first round with 53.9%, is declared the winner,” Mathias Morouba, the electoral commission’s president, told a news conference in the capital, Bangui. He said about half the country’s electorate, or about 910,000 people, had registered to vote and that turnout among the registered voters was 76.3%.

Provisional results of a legislative election held the same day will be announced at a later date, Morouba said.

Separately on Monday, prosecutors said an investigation had been launched into Bozizé’s role in the rebellion intended to disrupt the election. Bozizé and other accomplices were being investigated for various crimes including sedition, rebellion, assassination and theft, the prosecutors said in a statement.

Bozizé could not immediately be reached for comment. His party had previously denied the government’s accusations that the former president was plotting a coup, but some in the party have suggested that they are working with the rebels.

The vast but sparsely populated country of 4.7-million, which is larger than France, has struggled to find stability since Bozizé was ousted in 2013. Successive waves of violence since then have killed thousands and forced more than a million from their homes.

The UN, which has more than 12,000 peacekeepers in the country, said in a statement that calm had returned to Bangassou, a town attacked on Sunday by rebels allied to Bozizé.

“The situation in Bangassou is calm but tense, with the presence of armed elements in parts of the city,” the UN mission said, adding that 180 civil servants and workers from humanitarian organisations had sought refuge at its base. 


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