Central African Republic Votes On New Constitution As Touadera Eyes Third Term

Central Africa vote in a referendum for a new constitution

30th July 2023 12:35 PM

The Central African Republic began voting on Sunday in a referendum on a new constitution that would allow President Faustin-Archange Touadera to seek a third term in a country that has endured several coups.

In 2020 Touadera won a second term through to 2025, after a vote interrupted by armed rebel groups, while he also had to overcome allegations of fraud.

His rivals now charge that he wants to remain "president for life" -- under the increasingly visible protection of the private Russian mercenary group Wagner, which was deployed to the CAR in 2018.

The country of 5.5 million people which is one of the world's poorest, was scheduled to begin voting at 6:00 am (0500 GMT) but polling stations opened around one hour late.

The polls are due to close at 4:00 pm, with some 1.9 million people called on to cast their ballots.

Provisional results are not expected for eight days, while the constitutional court is scheduled to publish the definitive outcome on August 27, according to the national electoral authority.