CAR – Elections contested in advance

The political situation in the Central African Republic seems to be deteriorating. In March President François Bozizé announced that presidential and legislative elections would be held simultaneously on 25 April. There was a very negative reaction to this announcement by the opposition, known as the Collectif des forces du changement, which felt that it and the country would not be in a position to hold a fair election in such a short space of time. After a while the dates of the elections were put back. The legislative election is now scheduled to be held on 16 May and the presidential election is scheduled for 11 and 24 June.

The opposition is still arguing that the electoral process is flawed in advance. Therefore, it has announced that it will boycott both elections. This means that there will be two candidates for the presidential election, President François Bozizé, and former president, Ange-Félix Patassé. The Electoral Commission has ruled out a third candidate, Auguste Boukanga.

The elections have to be seen against the background of the failure of the inclusive political dialogue. There is a nice report by the International Crisis Group published in January 2010 (available here) that outlines the gradual failure of the inclusive agreement. This report also details problems with the Electoral Commission, which is considered to be too close to President Bozizé.

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