The Central African Republic is due to vote in the first round of presidential and parliamentary elections intended to restore democratic rule following two years of inter-religious violence. A referendum on changes to the constitution is set for December 13.
There have been several postponements due to the extreme instability due to fighting between Muslim Séléka rebels and Christians rebels who have formed anti-Balaka, a movement to oppose Seleka. The violence threatens the December dates as well.
On November 3, Herve Ladsous, who heads the United Nations peacekeeping mission MINUSCA, told the German network DW that the limited resources, the ongoing violence and the destruction of ballot papers have made the elections unthinkable.
The present conflict began in late 2012 with the Séléka's march on Bangui, the capital. The presidency changed hands three times in the space of a year: Michel Djotodia toppled Francois Bozizé in March 2013; Djotodia resigned in January 2014 and was replaced by caretaker president Alexandre-Ferdinand Nguendet. Two weeks after Djotodia's resignation, the former mayor of Bangui, Catherine Samba-Panza, was elected to act as interim president until presidential polls in February 2015.
Date written/update: 2015-11-24