Central African Republic’s top court confirms constitutional referendum results

Central African Republic’s top court confirms constitutional referendum results

Constitutional Court affirms that ‘yes’ camp won by 95.3% against ‘no’ camp, which garnered 4.97% of votes

By James Tasamba

KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) – The Central African Republic’s Constitutional Court on Monday validated the results of July’s constitutional referendum, affirming that the “yes” camp won by 95.3% against the “no” camp, which garnered 4.97%.

The Constitutional Court therefore “validates the new constitution of July 30, 2023,” it said.

The validated results showed that 57.23% took part in the elections out of about 1.7 million registered voters.

The new constitution raises the presidential term from five to seven years and scraps its two-term limit, giving President Faustin Archange Touadera a green light to seek a third term in office.

Touadera proposed the changes to the constitution last year, arguing that the new constitution would help the country develop.

However, the opposition denounced the results, saying the constitutional changes sought to create a “life presidency” for Touadera.

Touadera, 66, was elected in 2016 in a vote that followed a civil war and reelected in 2020 in an election disrupted by armed rebel groups.

In August 2022, he formed a commission to draft a new constitution.

The Central African Republic joined other African countries like Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, the Republic of Congo, and the Ivory Coast, which in recent years changed constitutions to allow presidents to stay in office.

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