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 Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More