BANGUI, 7 January 2021 – The incumbent president of the Central African Republic (CAR) Faustin-Archange Touadera has won another five-year term, but rebels reject the outcome.
Touadera was re-elected in the December 27 ballot with 53.9 percent of the votes cast, according to previsionary results published by the National Election Authority.
His closest challenger, Ancient-Georges Dologuele garnered 21.1 percent of the votes cast.
Martin Ziguele placed third in the vote count with 7.4 percent of the votes cast.
Rebels tried to stop the ballot from holding and have not stopped fighting in many towns and provinces of the country since the vote held.
On the eve of the election and every day since then, rebels have announced threats of marching on the capital, Bangui.
The government of CAR has relied heavily on United Nations peacekeepers (14,000-strong) and on troops from Russia (200 to 250 soldiers) and from Rwanda (850 special protection forces) to beat back the rebels.
Several leaders of the country’s opposition political parties have called for a re-run of the election, claiming that it was neither free nor fair.
Some of the opposition leaders have not hesitated to voice support for the rebels.
They include the 74-year-old former president Francois Bozize who returned to the country at the end of 2019, tried to run in the last presidential election but was barred from doing so on account of an international arrest warrant against him.
The government of President Touadera has said it has opened a judicial inquiry into the role of Bozize in the violence.
Bangui accused him of plotting a coup; a charge which Bozize denies.
The rebels, who control up to two-thirds of country, intimidated voters in many towns across the country, preventing them from voting or disrupting the voting process.
Voting could not proceed in over 40 percent of the polling stations.
A peace deal signed in 2019 between the government of CAR and 14 rebel groups raised great hope that the country could be on the brink of returning to peace and security.
The international community funded and supported the recent elections in the tope that it could help restore stability and help hold the country together.
President-elect Touadera, who is a former maths lecturer and vice-chancellor at the University of Bangui, once served as prime minister under Bozize between 2008 and 2013.