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CAR says to hold elections on Oct. 18

By on June 19, 2015

Central African Republic (CAR) will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on Oct. 18, a spokesman for the interim government said on Thursday.

The country descended into chaos in March 2013 when the predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power, sparking reprisals by “anti-balaka” a non Muslim militia (composed of former soldiers, renegates, civilians…), who drove out tens of thousands of Muslims out of the country.

A transitional authority currently in place is charged with organising elections and restoring democratic rule.

The polls have repeatedly been delayed, however, and a national peace forum last month said that a previous timetable that would have seen elections held in June or July was unrealistic.

The polls will be preceded by an electoral census from June 27 to July 27 and a referendum on a new constitution on Oct. 4, he said. A second round of elections, if required, will be held on Nov. 22.

The polls will require a total budget of 20 billion CFA francs ($34.6 million) of which around half had already been collected from government resources and donor funding, Mister Ndamoyen, spokesman of the transitional authority, said.

Although the violence in Central African Republic has eased in recent months, sporadic killings still occur, fuelled by criminality though deep divisions between Muslims and Christians persist.

The announcement follows interim President Catherine Samba Panza’s signing of a law earlier this month creating a Special Criminal Court to judge crimes committed during the last two years of turmoil

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