Central African Republic President Faustin Archange Touadéra announces candidacy for December election

Central African Republic President Faustin Archange Touadéra has announced his candidacy for the presidential election next December.

“It’s a heavy responsibility. A very heavy responsibility. I accept to be your candidate, ” the Head of state Faustin Archange Touadéra said  in front of his activists gathered in congress in Bangui, the capital of the country. This announcement has since been expected in the ranks of the United Hearts Movement (MCU), his political party.

More than seven  years after the coup d’état of a coalition of armed groups with a Muslim majority, the Seleka, which overthrew President François Bozizé in 2013, the first round of the presidential and legislative elections is scheduled for December 27, but  uncertainty prevails today as to the possibility of holding them within this timeframe, as significant delays have arisen in their organization, in particular the registration of voters. The parliament this week amended the electoral code.

He was previously Prime Minister of the country from January 2008 to January 2013. His government, composed of 29 members—four ministers of state, 17 ministers, and seven minister delegates, along with himself—was appointed on 28 January 2008.

A national dialogue was held in December 2008, and Bozizé then dissolved Touadéra’s government on 18 January 2009 in preparation for the formation of a government of national unity. Touadéra was reappointed as Prime Minister on 19 January. Later on the same day, his new 31-minister government was appointed, with only 10 ministers retaining their posts; many former rebels were included in the new lineup to prepare the country for the 2009 local elections and the 2010 presidential and parliamentary polls.

Following a peace deal between the Bozizé government and the Seleka rebel coalition in January 2013, Bozizé dismissed Touadéra on 12 January 2013, in accordance with the terms of the agreement, which required that a new prime minister be appointed from the political opposition.

 He was out of political activism following the overthrow  of Francois Bozize and the transitional period of Catherine Samba Panza, former Mayor of Bangui turned Transitional President. He only remerged in the December 2015 ahead of the Presidential election the following year. In the February 2016 Presidential polls, he was elected as President in a second round of voting against former Prime Minister Anicet Georges Dologuelé.

Faustin Archange Touadéra is seeking a return to office  at a time when the security situation in the country remains very fragile, notably with violations of the peace agreement by certain armed groups. Under him, the Central African Republic’s economy is improving, despite a difficult security and humanitarian environment. The African Development Bank in its 2020 Economic outlook says “Real GDP growth increased from 3.8% in 2018 to 4.5% in 2019, spurred by the steady recovery of agricultural and mining activities. However, inflation rose to 3.5% in 2019 (up from 1.6% in 2018) due to food supply problems and the security situation in some farming areas.”

 His main rivals should be, this time, Mr. Bozizé, who is back in the country and Catherine Samba Panza former Transitional President.

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