Opposition angry as Touadera wins re-election in CAR presidential race

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Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera has been re-elected in the first round of the polls, with a total of 53.9 percent of the vote, according to the national electoral commission.

The announcement on Monday is subject to official validation by the constitutional court, as some opposition leaders may appeal.

There were 15 candidates, with former prime minister Anicet Georges Dologuele finishing in second place, with 21.01 percent of the vote, according to National Elections Authority (ANE) chief Mathias Morouba.

Dologuele and other candidates are not convinced it was a free and fair election.

"It's a farce. There were many irregularities and instances of fraud," Dologuele told newswire AFP.

Another group, the powerful Democratic Opposition Coalition (COD-2020), an alliance of political and other groups, said last Wednesday that the elections were not inclusive.

Unrest affects election

The ANE said on Monday that turnout was 76.31 percent, but official figures indicate that 29 of the country’s 71 prefectures did not vote at all, while voting in six others was subject to serious delays.

The elections coincided with a new rebel offensive by a number of armed groups, preventing voters from casting their ballots.

The central government controls one-third of the country; competing rebel groups dominate the rest, as the country has continued to struggle after a lingering civil war in 2013, despite a peace deal signed in 2019, but now considered null and void.

Fighting broke out in the eastern city of Bangassou as rebels overran the city last weekend.

CAR prosecutors said Monday a probe has been launched into former president Francois Bozizé, accused of trying to foment a coup before the elections.

Bozizé, who grabbed power after the 2003 coup d’état and ruled the county until 2013, was prevented from running in this election by the constitutional court.

He is the object of an international arret warrant accusing him of “crimes against humanity and incitement of genocide”.