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Central African Republic polls witness sporadic disturbances

Central African Republic,Politics

Author : Indo Asian News Service

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Bangui, Dec 28 (IANS) Central Africa Republic (CAR) witnessed sporadic disturbances in its first round of voting in the presidential and legislative elections.

No major security incidents were reported in the elections which took place on Sunday and the whole country enjoyed a relative calm, reports Xinhua news agency.

In the capital Bangui, several polling stations opened with a slight delay because the electoral material was not ready on time.

CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera, who is seeking re-election, went to vote in the 4th district of Bangui.

After an opposition candidate withdrew from the race, Touadera is considered to be the top favourite among 16 candidates currently vying for tpresidency.

His main competitor is former Prime Minister Anicet-Georges Dologuele.

In several provincial towns, such as Bangassou, Sibut and many others, voters lined up in front of the ballot box despite threats from rebellious armed groups, according to witnesses.

In Bambari, a warning was sent by rebels to anyone who opened a polling station.

Heavy gunfire was heard on Sunday morning, according to local sources, but voters went to vote under the protection of UN peacekeepers.

In Bossangoa, Bouar, Dekoa, Kounago, and some other localities, the vote was very disturbed by the presence of armed groups, according to witnesses.

In the western cities of Aba, Yelowa, and Baboua, the electoral material was set on fire by rebels, according to military sources.

Immediately after the first round of voting, the counting began.

The CAR's National Election Authority has eight days to give the provisional results.

If no presidential candidate receives more than 50 per cent of the vote, a second round of the presidential elections will take place on February 14, 2021.

Sunday's polls took place following the signing of a peace agreement in February 2019 between the government, which controls only a fifth of the country's territory, and 14 armed groups.

--IANS

ksk/


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