BANGUI, 18 January 2021 – The Constitutional Court in Central African Republic (CAR) on Monday certified the results of the presidential elections of last December 27.
Incumbent President Faustin-Archange Touadera won re-election with 53.16 percent of the votes cast, said Daniele Darlan, the president of the country’s Constitutional Court.
Anicet Georges Dologuele finished runner-up with 21.69 percent of the votes cast, according to the certified vote count details of which were broadcast live for two hours on state TV.
The Constitutional Court sesson brought attention to the few petitions submitted by the opposition, alleging fraud and calling for a re-run of the ballot.
The petitions alleged that more than half of registered voters did not cast their ballots across two-thirds of the total territory of the country controlled by armed militias.
Darlan dismissed each of the petitions for lack of evidence.
She concluded that even if the fraud allegations were valid, they would not affect the overall outcome of the ballot, given the huge difference between the two top vote winners.
The Constitutional Court broke with the country’s electoral commission on data regarding participation in the presidential election.
Whereas the electoral commission had said 76 percent of registered voters cast votes during the election, the Constitutional Court ruled that actual participation was around 35 percent of registered voters.
The huge discrepancy stems from the fact that the electoral commission established participation in the ballot based on the total number of voters resident in the one-third of the territory where voting was possible.
The Constitutional Court adjusted the data to the total number of voters, including those living in the two-thirds of the country not under the control of the government in the capital, Bangui.
The court lauded the determination of Central Africans for defying intimidation, harassement, violence, threats against their lives and a war to go out and cast their ballots.
Six armed groups have formed an alliance that has been trying for ever since last December to march on and take the capital, Bangui.
The rebels control two-thirds of the country and, it is feared that without the United Nations peacekeeping force, they would already be knocking on the gates of Bangui.
Former President Francois Bozize, who was disqualified from running, supports the rebels but has denied accusations by Bangui that he plotted a coup against the re-elected president.
The session certifying the vote on Monday unfolded a full 24 hours ahead of pre-annunced electoral calendar.
The earlier-than-planned certification of the vote is believed to have been held to take the rebels by surprise.
The Constitutional Court reminded Central Africans of holding the certification sesson on the same the 42nd anniversary of the massacre of students in Bangui by CAR’s Emperor Jean-Bedel Bokassa, who rueigned over the country from 4 December 1976 to 21 September 1979.