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Constitutional court confirms re-election of Touadera as CAR president

 

Bangui, CAR | XINHUA |  The Constitutional Court of the Central African Republic on Monday confirmed the re-election of President Faustin-Archange Touadera.

According to final results announced by the Constitutional Court, Touadera won his second term with 53.16 percent of the Dec. 27 balloting.

On Jan. 4, authorities announced preliminary results of the vote, saying Touadera won 53.92 percent, but his opponents demanded that the Constitutional Court cancel the ballot, claiming “massive fraud” and low voter turnout.

The poll was held under threats from armed groups, which formed a new alliance, known as the Coalition of Patriots for Change, and launched attacks in the provinces, vowing to “march on Bangui,” the capital.

The government accused former president Francois Bozize of instigating the unrest to attempt a coup.

On Jan. 13, rebels launched a coordinated attack at the northern and southwestern entrance to the capital. The invasion was repelled by the CAR army supported by the force of UN mission (MINUSCA). A peacekeeper lost his life in the fighting.

Since Dec. 25, five peacekeepers have fallen in clashes with the coalition of armed groups. The MINUSCA accuses the rebels as well as their “political allies”, including ex-president Bozize.

Currently, the CAR army and MINUSCA are on maximum alert to defend the capital, but analysts say that Bangui risks being economically asphyxiated with the rebels blocking the Bangui-Garoua Boulai corridor, strategic for the import and export activities of the landlocked CAR.

An increase of up to 240 percent in the prices of imported foods has been recorded in the markets of Bangui and its neighborhoods, according to the latest study by the country’s institute for statistics and economic and social studies.

Last week, a convoy of trucks transporting goods from Bangui were able to resume their journey to neighboring Cameroon, under heavy military protection.

The ongoing crisis has caused some 60,000 additional Central African refugees seeking shelter in neighboring countries, according to the UN.

 

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