Central Africa ex-president Bozize says he ‘accepts’ election bar

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FILE PHOTO: Former president of the Central African Republic Francois Bozize /AFP

Central Africa Republic former president Francois Bozize has said that he ‘accepts’ election bar. His country’s top court a fortnight ago rejected his candidature in forthcoming elections because he is being sought for alleged murder and torture and is under UN sanctions.

FILE PHOTO: Former president of the Central African Republic Francois Bozize /AFP

The ruling was handed down by the Constitutional Court, which also rejected three other candidacies for the December 27 vote.

Bozize, whose overthrow in 2013 marked the start of CAR’s descent into conflict, has been seen as the only major rival to incumbent Faustin-Archange Touadera.

In its ruling, the court said it would not accept Bozize’s candidacy, “given that the candidate is the target of an international arrest warrant” filed by the CAR in 2014 “for murder, arbitrary arrest, sequestration, arbitrary detention and torture.”

It also noted UN measures against Bozize, which meant that he failed to meet “criteria of sound morality in the electoral code.”

The United Nations placed Bozize on its sanctions list in 2014, freezing any assets he held abroad and banning him from travel, on the grounds that while in exile he had been supporting militia groups guilty of “war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

The CAR, landlocked and impoverished, is one of the most volatile countries in Africa.

(With input from agencies)

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