CAR – Constitutional amendment regulating elections

On 11 May a constitutional amendment was passed in the Central African Republic. The amendment was designed to regulate the current situation regarding the electoral process.

The amendment changed Arts. 24 and 50 of the constitution. The change to Art. 24 has the effect of saying that when presidential or legislative elections cannot take place for unexpected and “irresistible” reasons the president shall ask the Constitutional Council to verify that this is the case and, if so, shall authorise the incumbent president to retain power. In effect, given the electoral timetable has slipped, this change allows President Bozizé to remain in power legitimately. The change to Art. 50 allows the National Assembly to do the same.

There is a very helpful article on Wikipedia that provides details of the current electoral situation and some background to the change. The bottom line is that the opposition were happy to agree to the constitutional amendments in return for a definitive election date. The Constitutional Council has since verified the delay to the elections and President Bozizé has decreed that the first round of presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on 23 January 2011 with the second round on 20 March.

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