Central Africa Republic (CAR) President Faustin-Archange Touadera announced his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election in December on Saturday, reported Reuters.
“The Central African people will no longer go backwards. The old political recipes which have led the country into misfortune are no longer accepted,” Mr. Touadera told members of his United Hearts Movement (MCU) party in the capital Bangui on Saturday. “It is a heavy responsibility. A very heavy responsibility. I accept to be your candidate.”
Touadéra, who was elected president in 2016, governs the CAR with the support of a large United Nations peacekeeping mission (MINUSCA) as most of the country is controlled by former rebels and militias. The armed groups control two-thirds of the territory.
The election in the war-torn nation had been thrown into doubt due to the coronavirus pandemic and resurgent militia attacks. The main opposition coalition has called out for the postponement of the electoral poll due to concerns over voter registrations. The coalition is questioning the credibility of the election.
The CAR continue to be reeling from violence despite a peace accord signed in February 2019 between the government and 14 armed groups, which often claim to defend the interests of specific communities or religions.
The CAR government had previously proposed changes to the constitution which would have allowed President Touadéra and national legislators to continue being in office for a certain period of time to be determined by the court in order to ensure continuity in running the country.
The country’s Constitutional Court, however, rejected the changes in June saying “the will of the people would be tossed aside.”
On Wednesday, the Central African Republic’s parliament voted to grant the electoral body extra time to register voters.
Touadéra is expected to face off against François Bozizé and Catherine Samba-Panza in the election set to be held on December 27.