BANGUI, 17 December 2020 – Former Central African President Francois Bozize says he will not fight a decision by the country’s Constitutional Court to invalidate his candidacy for the December 27 presidential election.
“I submit without reservation to the verdict of the Constitutional Court,” Bozize told reporters a week after decision was first made public last December 3.
Bozize called on other opposition wannabe presidential candidates to unite behind one candidate to improve their chances of beating incumbent president Faustin Archange Touadera.
Sixteen opposition candidates are running against Archange Touadera in the ballot next December 27.
Since 2014, Bozize has been under targeted sanctions by the United Nations, which accuses him of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The Central African Republic issued an international arrest warrant for Bozize after he was ousted from power in 2013.
The UN accuses Bozize of leading, from exile, a major insurrection in 2014 by the anti-Balaka militia.
Thousands of people were slaughtered in 2013-2014 in widespread inter-communal violence opposing so-called Seleka militia and their archrivals of the anti-Balaka militia.
The sanctions included seizure of assets, the freezing of bank accounts and a ban on travel.
The Constitutional Court disqualified his candidacy citing the fact that he was facing possible prosecution for the crimes alleged.
The former leader returned to the country in December 2019 after seven years in exile.
He was seen as the most formidable opponent to incumbent president Touadera, who is seeking a second term in office after winning a first term in 2016.
Archange Touadera is a clear favorite to win re-election.
Three of this most popular rivals are Catherine Samba-Panza who was head of state for a brief while during the transition from 2014 to 2016 and two former Prime Ministers, Martin Ziguele and Anicet-Georges Dologuele.