Presidential and legislative elections in the Central African republic are set to be held on the 18th of October. Georges Ndamoyen, a spokesman for the transitional authority, said the new election calendar had been agreed upon following a meeting between government officials and donors.
The polls are due to be held nearly two years after the country erupted into widespread sectarian violence between Muslim rebels who had overthrown the president and the Christian militiamen who opposed their rule. The country’s citizens abroad will also be able to take part in the vote.
It is hoped that, by holding the votes, the country can restore political normalcy and put behind it the brutal conflict which broke out after a 2013 coup which pitted mainly Muslim rebels against Christian vigilantes.
The impoverished, landlocked country was plunged into unrest after the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel alliance seized power in March 2013, following a coup that ousted president Francois Bozize. Under the new election calendar, announced on public radio, the first round voting will be held on October 18 with the second rounds on November 22.
The transitional regime also announced a referendum on October 4 to define a new constitution. The original schedule foresaw voting by mid-May at the latest, but the security situation in part of the country, and a lack of funding to organise balloting, pushed the dates back.
Already 70 people have voiced an intention to stand for president, though most of them won’t reach the ballot papers.