Central African Republic president Touadéra announces candidacy for election

The President of the Central African Republic Faustin-Archange Touadéra delivered a speech at the fundraising day at the sixth World Fund Conference in Lyon, France, on 10 October 2019. (Photo by Nicolas Liponne/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
The President of the Central African Republic Faustin-Archange Touadéra. (Photo by Nicolas Liponne/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Central Africa Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadéra on Saturday announced his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election in December.

While observers said Touadéra’s candidacy was certain, he took his time before officially making the announcement.

Touadéra, elected president in 2016, governs the country with the support of a large United Nations peacekeeping mission (MINUSCA); however, most of the country is controlled by former rebels and militias.

The election in the war-torn nation had been thrown into doubt due to the coronavirus pandemic and resurgent militia attacks.

The government had previously proposed changes to the constitution which would have allowed Touadéra and national legislators to remain in office for a certain period to be determined by the court in order to ensure continuity in running the country.

In June, however, the country’s Constitutional Court rejected the changes saying “the will of the people would be tossed aside.”

Touadéra is expected to face off against François Bozizé and Catherine Samba-Panza in the election slated for December 27.

Bozize, the country’s deposed former president, was overthrown in a 2013 rebellion by a coalition of mainly Muslim rebels from the north, plunging the majority Christian nation into a violent civil war.

Samba-Panza became the first woman to lead the country of 4.7 million people in the wake of a political crisis in 2012-2013. She guided the country while in transition as interim president from 2014 to 2016.