2015–16 Central African general election

General elections were held in the Central African Republic on 30 December 2015 to elect the President and National Assembly. As no presidential candidate received more than 50% of the vote, and following the annulling of the results of the National Assembly elections by the Transitional Constitutional Court, a second round of the presidential elections and a re-run of the parliamentary vote took place on 14 February 2016, with run-offs on 31 March 2016.[1][2]

2015–16 Central African general election

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14 February 2016 (second round)
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  Faustin Touadera.jpg Anicet Georges Dologuele 2015 (cropped).jpg
Nominee Faustin-Archange Touadéra Anicet-Georges Dologuélé
Party Independent URCA
Popular vote 695,059 413,352
Percentage 62.71% 37.29%

President before election

Catherine Samba-Panza
(Transitional Head of State)
Independent

Elected President

Faustin-Archange Touadéra
Independent

Legislative election

14 February 2016 (first round)
31 March 2016 (second round)
Party Leader % Seats ±
UNDP 13 New
URCA 13 New
RDC 10 +9
MPLC 9 +8
Kwa Na Kwa 7 -54
PATRIE 4 New
PGD 3 New
RPR 3 New
PARC 3 New
CRPS 2 New
MDD 2 0
PS 1 New
UNADER 1 0
MNS 1 New
PAD 1 -2
PDSK 1 New
PUN 1 +1
Independent 56 +30
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.

The elections were delayed several times, the original elections having been scheduled for 18 October before being postponed, whilst the second round of the presidential elections was due to be held on 31 January 2016.[3] Acting President Catherine Samba-Panza was not allowed to stand as a candidate.[4]

Following the second round of the presidential elections, former Prime Minister Faustin-Archange Touadéra was declared the winner with 63% of the vote, defeating Union for Central African Renewal candidate Anicet-Georges Dologuélé, another former Prime Minister.[5]

BackgroundEdit

Despite the 25 August 2012 signing of a peace agreement between the government and the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP) that promised closure of the Bush War,[6] political violence continued in the eastern and central parts of the country. Then, on 10 December 2012, fighters from the Séléka rebel coalition seized the towns of N'Délé, Sam Ouandja and Ouadda. Following further battlefield successes through the month, the government called for support from former coloniser France and the United States. Though the offer was spurned, other central African states and South Africa sent in troops to secure the country and its capital, Bangui, from Séléka.

On 11 January 2013, a ceasefire agreement was signed in Libreville, Gabon, between the government, Séléka and the political opposition. The agreement led to a dropping of the demand for President François Bozizé's resignation, but required that he appoint a new prime minister from the opposition.[7] The National Assembly of the Central African Republic was also dissolved within a week, with a year-long coalition government formed in its place and a new election called for within 12 months. The interim government would implement judicial reforms, amalgamate the rebel troops with government soldiers to establish a new national military, and introduce other social and economic reforms.[8] The government was also required to free all political prisoners imprisoned during the conflict and that foreign troops must return to their countries of origin. Séléka was not required to give up the cities they had taken or were occupying in order to ensure that the government would not renege on the agreement.[7]

Following the ouster of Bozizé in March 2013, Michel Djotodia became president. In the ensuing months atrocities were committed by the Seleka and the newly formed Christian anti-balaka groups. Djotodia eventually left and the Mayor of Bangui, Catherine Samba-Panza, was made interim president. However, instability and sectarian violence continued in the lead up to the election.

CandidatesEdit

Kwa Na Kwa, the former ruling party loyal to Bozizé, announced on 10 August 2015 that Bozizé would return to the country and stand as a candidate in the October 2015 presidential election.[9] KNK Secretary-General Bertin Bea complained that the transitional authorities were trying to obstruct his bid, however. A few days later, Bea was arrested, purportedly for "inciting disorder" two months earlier.[10]

On 8 December 2015, the Constitutional Court announced the list of approved presidential candidacies. Bozizé's candidacy was among those rejected.[11][12] Officially, he was excluded because he was not registered on the voter list and because he had agreed not to run again as part of the peace agreement in January 2013, two months before he was ousted.[12] Gunfire was subsequently reported in parts of Bangui, as his supporters reacted angrily to the news.[11][12] The KNK said that Bozizé's exclusion was "the result of internal and external pressure",[13] with many of his supporters alleging that the French government was involved in the decision.[12] About 30 candidates were approved to run, including three former prime ministers (Anicet Georges Dologuélé, Martin Ziguélé, and Faustin Archange Touadéra) and three sons of former presidents (Désiré Kolingba, Sylvain Patassé, and Jean-Serge Bokassa).[14]

CampaignEdit

Prior to the election, a constitutional referendum was held on 13–14 December 2015. Results announced on 21 December showed that the referendum passed with 93% support. On 22 December, the official campaigning period began. Presenting himself as a candidate of peace and inclusion, Anicet Georges Dologuélé declared that he had "never held a weapon" and said that Bozizé would be able to play some unspecified role in national affairs. On the same day, the KNK announced its support for Dologuélé.[15]

On 24 December acting Prime Minister Mahamat Kamoun stated that the elections would be postponed to 30 December, to allow further preparations.[16]

ConductEdit

The polls were characterized by insecurity, and many voters could not participate because of the dire security situation and were instead seeking refuge in other countries. The government failed to set up an absentee voting system. However, there were many irregularities, though fears of widespread violence were not realized and the African Union regarded the elections as successful.[17]

ResultsEdit

PresidentEdit

Results for Bangui, released on 2 January 2016, showed Faustin-Archange Touadéra placing first (30,999 votes), Anicet Georges Dologuélé placing second (28,162 votes), Désiré Kolingba placing third (25,055 votes), Jean-Serge Bokassa placing fourth (10,672 votes), and Martin Ziguélé placing fifth (9,946 votes). Although results from the rest of the country were not given at the time, overall turnout was placed at 72.2%.[3] Further results released on 3 January, accounting for about 25% of all votes, showed Touadéra with about 23% of the vote (about 120,000 votes), far ahead of Dologuélé, in second place with about 68,500 votes.[18] By 6 January, results accounting for about 77% of votes showed Dologuélé in the lead with 259,211 votes, followed by Touadéra with 222,391 votes and all of the other candidates trailing far behind.[19]

Provisional results announced by Marie-Madeleine Nkouet, the President of the National Election Authority, on 7 January 2016 showed Dologuélé in first place with 23.78% of the vote and Touadéra in second place with 19.42% of the vote. A second round of voting between Dologuélé and Touadéra was expected.[20] The Transitional Constitutional Court approved the final results on 25 January, putting Dologuélé in first place with 23.74% of the vote and Touadéra second with 19.05%.[21]

The electoral commission announced on 20 February 2015 that Touadéra won the second round with 62.71% of the vote, defeating Dologuélé. Although Dologuélé alleged fraud, he nevertheless stated that "for the sake of peace" he accepted the official results, would not appeal, and "recognize[d] Faustin-Archange Touadéra as the leader of all Central Africans".[22] The Constitutional Court validated the results and formally declared Touadéra to be elected as President on 1 March.[23]

CandidatePartyFirst roundSecond round
Votes%Votes%
Anicet-Georges DologuéléUnion for Central African Renewal268,95223.74413,35237.29
Faustin-Archange TouadéraIndependent215,80019.05695,05962.71
Désiré KolingbaCentral African Democratic Rally136,39812.04
Martin ZiguéléMovement for the Liberation of the Central African People129,47411.43
Jean-Serge BokassaIndependent68,7056.06
Charles-Armel DoubaneIndependent41,0953.63
Jean-Michel MandabaParty for Democratic Governance35,4583.13
Sylvain Patassé-NgakoutouCentral African New Momentum31,2612.76
Abdou Karim MeckassouaIndependent31,0522.74
Gaston Mandata NguérékataParty of the Central African Renaissance22,3911.98
Jean-Barkès Ngombe-KettéIndependent18,9491.67
Timoléon BaikouaIndependent17,1951.52
Fidèle GouandjikaIndependent15,3561.36
Théodore KapouIndependent13,2951.17
Marcel DimasséSocialist Party8,7910.78
Guy MoskitNational Solidarity Movement8,7120.77
Jean Willybiro-SakoIndependent8,5350.75
Émile Gros Raymond NakomboIndependent8,0010.71
Régina Konzi-MongotIndependent6,6840.59
Xavier Sylvestre YangongoIndependent6,5120.57
Cyriaque GondaNational Party for a New Central Africa6,4400.57
Laurent Gomina-PampaliNational Union for Democracy and Rally5,8340.51
Constant Gouyomgbia Kongba ZézéIndependent5,5600.49
Joseph YakétéForum for the Central African Rally5,5470.49
Mathias Barthélemy MoroubaIndependent5,1560.46
Théophile Sony ColéSyndical Union of Central African Workers3,7840.33
Maxime KazaguiAlliance for a New Central Africa2,8860.25
Jean-Baptiste KobaIndependent2,0100.18
Stanislas Moussa KembéIndependent1,7060.15
Olivier GabiraultIndependent1,3470.12
Total1,132,886100.001,108,411100.00
Valid votes1,132,88692.691,108,41196.11
Invalid/blank votes89,3707.3144,8893.89
Total votes1,222,256100.001,153,300100.00
Registered voters/turnout1,954,43362.541,954,43359.01
Source: Afrique News Info, IFES

National AssemblyEdit

The second round of the parliamentary election was held on 31 March 2016. Provisional results in early April, combined with the already certified results from the first round in February, showed 17 parties winning seats, but none of them with more than 13 seats. Independent candidates won a total of 56 seats.[24]

Party First round Second round Total
seats
+/–
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
National Union for Democracy and Progress 5 8 13 New
Union for Central African Renewal 3 10 13 New
Central African Democratic Rally 2 8 10 +9
Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People 3 6 9 +8
National Convergence "Kwa Na Kwa" 3 4 7 –54
African Party for a Radical Transformation and Integration of the State 1 3 4 New
Party for Democratic Governance 2 1 3 New
Rally for the Republic 1 2 3 New
Party of the Central African Renaissance 0 3 3 New
Republican Convention for Social Progress 1 1 2 New
Movement for Democracy and Development 1 1 2 0
Socialist Party 1 0 1 New
National Union for Democracy and Rally 1 0 1 0
National Solidarity Movement 0 1 1 New
Action Party for Development 0 1 1 –2
Party for Democracy and Solidarity–Kélémba 0 1 1 New
National Unity Party 0 1 1 +1
Independents 22 34 56 +30
Invalid/blank votes
Total 46 85 131 +31
Registered voters/turnout 1,225,300
Source: ANERCA, ANERCA

AftermathEdit

Touadéra was sworn in on 30 March 2016. Speaking on the occasion, he vowed to pursue disarmament and "make CAR a united country, a country of peace, a country facing development".[25]

He appointed Simplice Sarandji, his campaign director, as Prime Minister on 2 April 2016,[26][27] and the composition of the new government was announced on 11 April 2016. Three presidential candidates who backed Touadéra in the second round were included in the government: Jean-Serge Bokassa as Minister of the Interior, Charles-Armel Doubane as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Joseph Yakété as Minister of National Defense. Several new ministers had previously served in the government under Bozizé, and under Touadéra while he was Bozizé's Prime Minister; it was suggested that they were appointed because of their experience in working under Touadéra, and not because of any connections to Bozizé. No representatives of the Seleka rebel group or the "anti-balaka" militias were included in the government.[28]

Karim Meckassoua, a defeated presidential candidate who was also elected to the National Assembly, was elected as President of the National Assembly on 6 May 2016. He received 65 votes against 24 for Anicet-Georges Dologuélé and 14 for Martin Ziguélé.[29]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Centrafrique : Le corps électoral convoqué le 14 février pour le 1er tour des législatives et le second tour de la présidentielle Archived 2017-01-04 at the Wayback Machine (in French), RJDH, 28 January 2016
  2. ^ New Central African president takes on a country in ruins ENCA, 28 March 2016
  3. ^ a b Crispin Dembassa-Kette, "Former Central African Republic PM leads in presidential vote", Reuters, 2 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Can Catherine Samba-Panza save the Central African Republic?", The Guardian, 2 March 2014.
  5. ^ CAR presidential election: Faustin Touadera declared winner BBC News, 20 February 2016
  6. ^ "Le CPJP, dernier groupe rebelle actif en Centrafrique, devient un parti politique" (in French), Radio France Internationale, 26 August 2015 (in French).
  7. ^ a b Sayare, Scott (11 January 2013). "Rebel Coalition in Central African Republic Agrees to a Short Cease-Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Central African Republic ceasefire signed". BBC. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Exiled Central African leader Bozizé to stand at election", Reuters, 10 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Head of ousted Central African leader's party arrested", Agence France-Presse, 15 August 2015.
  11. ^ a b "Renewed unrest in C.Africa after presidential candidates announced", Agence France-Presse, 8 December 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d "Présidentielle en RCA: les soutiens de Bozizé accusent la France" (in French), Radio France Internationale, 9 December 2015 (in French).
  13. ^ "Deposed former Central African Republic ruler Bozize barred from elections", Reuters, 8 December 2015.
  14. ^ "Présidentielle: 28 candidats éligibles, le dossier de Bozizé rejeté" Archived 2015-12-10 at the Wayback Machine, Journaldebangui.com, 8 December 2015 (in French).
  15. ^ "Campaign takes off in C. Africa as 30 vie for president", Agence France-Presse, 22 December 2015.
  16. ^ Crispin Dembassa-Kette (24 December 2015). "Central African Republic postpones key elections for three days". Reuters. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  17. ^ https://freedomhouse.org/country/central-african-republic/freedom-world/2020
  18. ^ "Ex-Bozize PM takes early lead in C.Africa presidential race", Agence France-Presse, 3 January 2016.
  19. ^ Crispin Dembassa-Kette, "Central African Republic candidates now mostly support vote count: U.N.", Reuters, 6 January 2016.
  20. ^ "No winner emerges in first round of Central African election", Reuters, 7 January 2016.
  21. ^ "Centrafrique: Dologuelé et Touadera au second tour de la présidentielle" Archived 2017-01-04 at the Wayback Machine, RJDH, 25 January 2016 (in French).
  22. ^ Crispin Dembassa-Kette, "Ex-PM Touadera wins Central African Republic presidential vote", Reuters, 20 February 2016.
  23. ^ "Central African constitutional court confirms Touadera elected president", Reuters, 1 March 2016.
  24. ^ Fridolin Ngoulou, "Centrafrique : Configuration de la future Assemblée Nationale" Archived 2016-07-03 at the Wayback Machine, RJDH, 9 April 2016 (in French).
  25. ^ "Central African Republic's president vows peace, reforms at inauguration", Reuters, 30 March 2016.
  26. ^ "Central African president names PM in decree: radio", Reuters, 2 April 2016.
  27. ^ "Centrafrique : Sarandji nommé Premier ministre", BBC News, 2 April 2016 (in French).
  28. ^ Vincent Duhem, "Centrafrique : ce qu’il faut retenir du nouveau gouvernement dévoilé par Touadéra", Jeune Afrique, 13 April 2016 (in French).
  29. ^ "Centrafrique : Karim Meckassoua élu président de la nouvelle Assemblée Nationale" Archived 2016-06-01 at the Wayback Machine, RJDH, 6 May 2016 (in French).