Central African Republic (CAR) voters overwhelmingly approved a controversial draft constitution that could see President Faustin Archange Touadera seek a third, longer term in office.
The national poll body said on Monday the constitutional amendments, which remove the two-term limit and extend the term from five to seven years, were approved by more than 95 %.
The body added that there was a 61% turnout among the eligible population.
The constitutional court is set to publish the definitive results on August 27.
Why were the amendments controversial?
The referendum took place on July 30, without the participation of the main opposition parties, civil society organizations or armed rebel groups.
Opposition parties blasted what they said were outdated electoral registers, doubting the vote’s independence.
“It’s a comedy,” said Crepin Mboli-Goumba, coordinator of the BRDC opposition coalition. “We’ve all seen that people didn’t go out to vote and it doesn’t reflect the will of the Central African people.”
Touadera came to power after winning the 2016 elections while the CAR was coming out of a civil war following a coup. He won a second five-year term in 2020, but the turbulent vote was interrupted by several armed rebel groups’ incursions.
The incumbent president has also faced fraud allegations.
rmt/jsi (AFP, Reuters)