BANGUI, Central African Republic (AA) – The Central African Republic will hold a fresh parliamentary election after the Constitutional Court annulled the results of last month’s vote late Monday over irregularities.
The court upheld the results of a presidential vote held on Dec. 30 but said the election results for lawmakers would be annulled.
Zacharie Ndouba, the court president, told reporters in capital Bangui that “irregularities on the ballots, [an] insufficient number of ballots in some polling stations, cases of threat, traffic of influence and peddling exerted by some candidates” would mean the legislative election being rescheduled.
“These acts are contrary to the law and violate the freedom of voters and therefore liable to undermine the credibility and integrity of the elections,” he said.
According to electoral law, a fresh election must be held within 90 days.
Nearly 1,200 candidates ran for 140 parliamentary seats, according to the National Election Authority.
Validating the results of the first round of the presidential election, Ndouba said the second round would be held between the two frontrunners on Jan. 31 after none of the candidates received more than half of the votes.
Former Prime Minister Anicet-Georges Dologuele took the largest share of votes – nearly 24 percent – followed by fellow ex-premier Faustin-Archange Touadera on 19 percent.
The elections had been expected to end the interim government put in place in 2013 when Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize, a Christian who came to power in a 2003 coup.
The diamond-rich nation was gripped by sectarian violence following Bozize’s removal before international pressure led to the formation of a transitional government. More than 860,000 fled their homes due to the conflict.
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