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Central African Republic: EU Calls for “More Inclusive Democratic Processes”

The European Union on Wednesday called for “more inclusive and transparent democratic processes” in the Central African Republic, where a new Constitution approved by referendum allows President Faustin Archange Touadéra to run for a third term in 2025.

The Constitutional Court in the Central African Republic validated on Monday a draft new Constitution, approved at the end of July by referendum by more than 95% in this country among the poorest in the world, where violence has persisted in certain parts of the territory since the start of a war. calendar in 2013.

The new fundamental law abolishes the limit of two successive presidential terms and extends the duration of these terms from five to seven years. A change denounced by the opposition, which accuses Mr. Touadera of wanting to remain “president for life”.

“The EU takes note of the results of the constitutional referendum in the Central African Republic”, wrote on X (ex-Twitter) Peter Stano, spokesman for the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell. He expressed the Union’s “concerns” at the “continuing polarization of the political context”. “The EU calls for more inclusive and transparent democratic processes” in the Central African Republic, he added.

On Tuesday evening, the United States expressed its “deep reservations” about the turnout in the referendum and called on the Central African authorities to announce a date for the holding of new elections.

The main opposition parties and civil society organizations had called for a boycott of the referendum, as had the armed rebel groups which continue to fight, in certain provinces, the army supported by Russian mercenaries from the Wagner group.

Elected in 2016, Mr. Touadéra was re-elected in 2020 in a highly contested ballot in which two out of three registered voters were unable to take part due in particular to the violence.