News / Africa

CAR Leaders to Elect Interim President Monday

CAR Leaders to Elect Interim President Mondayi
X
January 17, 2014 6:35 AM
Political leaders in the Central African Republic have agreed on guidelines for replacing interim president Michel Djotodia, who was forced to resign last week after failing to stop the violence.

CAR Leaders to Elect Interim President Monday

Nick Long
Political leaders in strife-torn Central African Republic have agreed on guidelines for replacing interim president Michel Djotodia, who was forced to resign last week.
 
The transitional national council says people have until mid-day Saturday to submit names of possible candidates, who will then be evaluated on Sunday.
 
The group says it plans to elect the new interim leader on Monday.
 
The transition council announced new candidacy guidelines on Thursday, following talks in the capital, Bangui. According to the announcement, political, military and militia leaders are banned from consideration, which rules out many individuals involved in CAR politics.
 
Controversially, former ministers of the transitional government, which took power in the middle of last year, along with members of the transitional parliament formed at the same time, are also excluded.
 
The nation’s senior Muslim cleric, Imam Omar Kobine Layama, is one of many people who told VOA they approve of this condition.
 
"People who managed the transition in the government of the outgoing president Michel Djotodia for nearly a year, and who brought the country to its knees, [should not] be candidates to succeed him," he said.
 
The transitional national council is also requiring that all candidates be citizens of CAR, are at least 35 years old, and hold no criminal record or history of mismanaging public office.
 
The group did say that political leaders presently banned from consideration for the interim presidency may seek candidacy in CAR's 2015 presidential election.
 
International observers
 
International observers view the restrictive criteria as crucial to ensuring broad support for the interim leader while safeguarding the country against more chaos or even genocide.
 
Senior U.N. official John Ging, operations director for the organization's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, warned Thursday that seeds of genocide are present in the country.
 
Waiting at parliament Thursday, people such as Maitre Bernard Kutu, a lawyer, carried dossiers on would-be candidates.
 
"I know Central Africans, and they are very keen on running for the presidency and there will be a flood of candidates," said Zutu. "Fortunately the criteria will rule out some power-hungry people who are completely worthless as national leaders."
 
Although no candidates have been verified, rumors of potential nominees are have been circulating, and VOA has learned of four people who have reportedly expressed an intention to seek the interim presidency, including Xavier Sylvestre Yangongo, a former general and minister in several governments; Charles Armel Doubanem, a former ambassador to the United Nations; Bangui Mayor Catherine Samba Panza; and General James Gaston Gamboa.
 
Observers say the parliament was still debating Thursday whether to add more conditions that could rule out potential candidates — for example, a ban on active-duty military officers.
 
Much of CAR's recent violence has involved targeted attacks on Muslim or Christian civilians, a new occurrence for a country that has a history of political unrest but not violent religious persecution.
 
U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, said Thursday the U.S. government is working to help the African Union peacekeeping force in the CAR reach its full strength as quickly as possible. The U.S. has airlifted Burundian troops to the CAR and will soon also be helping Rwandan troops to deploy there.
 
CAR descended into chaos after mostly Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew President Francois Bozize last March, replacing with Djotodia, the Christian majority country's first Muslim leader.
 
Djotodia resigned last week under intense pressure from regional leaders after failing to stop violence that has killed more than 1,000 people over the past month and displaced more than one million over the past year.
 
Much of the recent violence has involved the ex-Seleka rebels and Christian militias known as anti-balaka.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid