the president announces a referendum for a new constitution

the president announces a referendum for a new constitution

2023-05-30 21:29:46

The President of the Central African Republic, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, announced on Tuesday May 30 that he would submit to referendum a new Constitution which would allow him to run for a third term.

The current fundamental law of this country, still plagued by a rebellion after years of civil war, prohibits it. The date was set for July 30 by government decree.

Russian mercenaries

Faustin-Archange Touadéra was elected in 2016 then re-elected in 2020 when less than one in three voters had the opportunity to go to the polls for security reasons. He is accused by the opposition and the rebellion of wanting, by being re-elected in 2025, to stay “president for life” second least developed country in the world, according to the UN.

The international organization also criticizes the regime of the Head of State, in tune with Western capitals and NGOs, for having put the Central African Republic under the control of Wagner’s Russian mercenaries to fight the rebels.

Third term

“I have decided (…) to submit the draft of a new Constitution to a referendum”, said the head of state in a message to the Nation recorded and posted on the Facebook page of the presidency. It does not specify anything about its content.

“There will be no third term, but the counters will be reset” with a new Constitution, “and there will be a new mandate that everyone can run for, including President Touadéra if he wishes”however, immediately told AFP Fidèle Gouandjika, minister special adviser to the president.

On September 22, 2022, the current Central African president suffered a legal setback when the Constitutional Court annulled one of his decrees setting up a Committee to draft a new constitution. The Court invoked in particular the fact that the Senate, the upper house of Parliament and provided for in the previous Constitution, had still not been set up.

Deadly Civil War

The power automatically retired in January 2023 the President of the Constitutional Court Danièle Darlan, the main architect of the invalidation.

And the United Hearts Movement (MCU) of Faustin-Archange Touadéra, the majority in the National Assembly with the support of satellite parties, has multiplied demonstrations to castigate the supreme court and demand a new Constitution by referendum.

A deadly civil war erupted in 2013 when a Muslim-dominated rebel alliance, the Séléka, overthrew President François Bozizé. The latter mobilized mainly Christian and animist self-defense militias, the anti-balakas, to try to regain power.

Thousands of civilians were massacred until the height of the war in 2016 and the UN accused Seleka and anti-balaka of crimes against humanity, despite the presence of a large peacekeeping force of peacekeepers .

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