Null & Void: Central African Republic Opposition Coalition Demands For Election Cancellation Over Insecurity

Null & Void: Central African Republic Opposition Coalition Demands For Election Cancellation Over Insecurity

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By Spy Uganda Correspondent 

CAR: An influential opposition coalition in the Central African Republic has called for an annulment of last Sunday 27 December 2020 election, saying that a third of voters were unable to cast their ballot because of insecurity.

READ ALSO: Central African Republic Votes Amidst Violence As Rebels Confiscate Election Materials

According to the opposition, voting took place amidst offensive intimidation by armed groups in rural areas long beyond the reach of government control in the sparsely-populated country of 4.7 million people.

However, the government relied on United Nations’ peacekeepers to deliver election materials to the provinces by plane because roads were made impassable by heavy rains and rebel checkpoints.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Democratic Opposition Coalition (COD-2020) spokesperson Nicolas Tiangaye said the counting of votes was not done immediately after the polling was over and continued the next day adding that they “were not fair and no expression of the people’s will”.

READ ALSO: UN Peacekeepers Killed In Central African Republic Ahead of Sunday Polls 

“The ballot boxes were kept by MINUSCA [United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic] in the absence of the candidates’ representatives, in violation of the electoral code,”  Tiangaye said.

He said the representatives of the presidential candidates were unable to have the results sheets signed as provided for by the provisions of the electoral code.

MUNISCA had welcomed the good performance of Sunday’s poll while acknowledging some dysfunctions in the conduct of the votes due to the unrest created by the armed groups.

READ ALSO: ‘Reasons To Hope’ For Sustainable Peace In Central African Republic – UN Mission Chief

The situation in the war-torn country is extremely tense since the candidacy of former President Francois Bozize for the Dec. 27 elections was rejected by the Constitutional Council.

Several militia groups, some close to Bozize, have recently attacked civilians, the armed forces, and UN peacekeeping forces forcing more than 55,000 people to flee according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

READ ALSO: Rwanda, Russia Send Deadly Armed Commandos To Curb Election Violence In Central Africa Republic

Recent rebel attacks have prompted UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to urge all parties to cease hostilities and ensure peace.

The country, which has substantial diamond and gold resources, has struggled to stabilize due to waves of violence since 2013 that have killed thousands and forced more than a million from their homes.

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