January 06, 2020
Ten defeated candidates in Central African Republic’s presidential election called on Tuesday for the vote — won by incumbent Faustin Archange Touadera — to be annulled in view of “numerous irregularities”.
A poster for Faustin-Archange Touadéra on a street in Bangui on January 5, 2021. © Florent Vergnes, AFP
“We call for a straightforward annulment,” the candidates said in a joint statement on the presidential and legislative elections held on December 27.
Late on Monday, the electoral authority ANE declared Touadera winner with almost 54 percent of the ballot, meaning a runoff will not be needed if the result is confirmed by the CAR’s top court.
Alleging that the vote was “littered with numerous irregularities”, the opposition candidates said, “We do not recognise the results published by the ANE.”
Out of a registered electorate of 1.8 million, only around 695,000 people were actually able to cast their ballot, equivalent to turnout of 37 percent, rather than the 76.31 percent reported by the ANE, they argued.
Many voters unable to cast ballot
The candidates included Anicet Georges Dologuele, a former prime minister, who came second with 21 percent and third-placed Martin Ziguele.
Two-thirds of the country is controlled by armed groups, and many voters in these areas were unable to cast their ballots.
According to official figures, voting did not take place at all in 29 of 71 sub-prefecture districts and was curtailed in six others.
In almost half of polling stations, “voting did not take place or ballot sheets were destroyed”, the ANE’s rapporteur, Theophile Momokoama, told AFP.
The Constitutional Court has until January 19 to validate the result.