The Constitutional Court of the Central African republic handed down its decision on January 18 concerning the presidential election of 27 December 2020. After the results were adjusted and some polling stations were cancelled, it ruled that President Faustin-Archange Touadéra was re-elected in the first round with 53.16% of the votes, against Anicet Georges Dologuélé with 21.69%.
This announcement ended a three-week suspense in a complicated political and security context. Four applications for annulment to redress the results had been filed.
For two hours, the President of the Constitutional Court Daniele Darlan read out the verdict, point by point, the various appeals filed by the opposition, which, for its part, requested the annulment of the election citing irregularities, fraud, the fact that this election is not representative, because more than half of the voters could not vote.
The Constitutional Court dismissed most opposition petitions citing a lack of evidence. However, the Court President ruled that in several districts there had been irregularities and annulled the presidential and legislative elections. This is the case in cities such as Bambari, Bouar. And in the end, the Court found that these irregularities were not of such a nature as to reverse the result. The gap between the first two candidates was too great: 53.16% for outgoing president Faustin-Archange Touadéra, 21.69% for his rival, Anicet-Georges Dologuélé.
It is therefore a victory that will be accompanied by many challenges. Faustin-Archange Touadéra, elected with less than 350,000 votes, will head the state for another five years, but he will nevertheless have to be the president of all Central Africans.
The president will have to deal with an opposition that has for several months been calling for a major national consultation. In his speech on Monday 18 January, he greeted Central Africans who had had the courage to stand up to armed groups and go to the polls despite the insecurity. He also extended his hand, recalling that there was still time for dialogue.