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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid