BANGUI, February 2, 2011 (AFP) – Francois Bozize has been re-elected president of the Central African Republic, according to provisional results released by the electoral commission on Tuesday. The commission said Bozize received 66.08 percent of the vote in the January 23 poll, the outcome of which has already been rejected by three of the five candidates. Counting began last week a day after the three — former premier Martin Ziguele, ex-defence minister Jean-Jacques Demafouth and Emile Gros-Raymond Nakombo — described the ballot as a “masquerade.” The trio, all members of the opposition Collective of Forces for Change (CFC), had demanded preconditions before the vote counting and later said they had not been notified the procedure had started. Bozize had been tipped to win another term, with the president he ousted in 2003, Ange-Felix Patasse, his strongest challenger, but there have been complaints of irregularities and fraud.
Patasse came second with 20.10 percent of the vote, followed by Ziguele with 6.46 percent, Nakombo with 4.64 percent and Demafouth with 2.72 percent, the independent commission said. Turnout was put at 54.01 percent. The results have to be validated within 15 days of the January 23 election by the constitutional court. Government spokesman Fidele Ngouandjika declared: “It is a victory of democracy for someone who took power in a (2003) coup d’etat and who was legitimised by the ballot in 2005.” But disgruntled candidate Ziguele said he had “not even listened to or followed (the announcement). “It’s a non-event,” he grumbled. “It’s so crass and ridiculous. Now we will lodge a complaint and appeal to the constitutional court, but we’re not fooled. The court will validate the results.”
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