Final round of Central Africa presidential poll delayed

2016-01-27 18:36
Supporters of Central African presidential candidate Faustin Archange Touadera hold a placard with Touedara's campaign poster and reading "1st tour" during a presidential campaign rally in Bangui on December 28 2015. (Issouf Sanogo, AFP)

Supporters of Central African presidential candidate Faustin Archange Touadera hold a placard with Touedara's campaign poster and reading "1st tour" during a presidential campaign rally in Bangui on December 28 2015. (Issouf Sanogo, AFP)

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Bangui - The second and last round presidential poll in the Central African Republic, which had been scheduled for Sunday, has been postponed over organisational problems, the electoral authority said on Wednesday.

"We can't hold the election on Sunday, it's impossible, we will soon announce a new date," said Julius Ngouade Baba, spokesperson of the electoral authority (ANE in its French acronym).

Two former premiers, Anicet Georges Dologuele and Faustin Archange Touadera, are vying for the presidency of the strife-torn nation.

Dologuele won 23.74% of the vote in the first round on December 30, trailed by Touadera, who picked up 19.05%.

Dologuele, a 58-year-old former central banker, came to be known as "Mr Clean" after his attempts to bring transparency to murky public finances during his time as premier.

Touadera, also 58, is a former maths professor who served as prime minister under disgraced ousted president Francois Bozize.

He was considered an outsider among the 30 candidates running for the top job.

At a meeting in the capital Bangui, government, ANE and international community representatives mulled postponing the second round to February 14, according to a participant in the meeting.

There has been no official confirmation of the date, however.

"We drafted a technical report, which was brought before various institutions for consideration. When everyone agrees, we will quickly announce the new date," the ANE's Ngouade Baba said.

The announcement comes after the country's top court on Monday annulled last month's first-round legislative vote over "irregularities", but said the second round of the presidential poll could go ahead.

The presidential and legislative elections had been seen as vital for restoring stability after years of religious violence.

Read more on:    central african republic  |  central africa

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