Central African Republic defies rebels to vote in crucial referendum

Dec 16, 2015 Voters in Central African Republic recently cast their ballots in a constitutional referendum, which is seen as crucial step in ending nearly three years of violence in the country.

The expected approval of the draft constitution will pave the way for an election of a new president and parliament. This will restore the country’s democratic rule, after two successive transitional governments.

Commenting on the vote, Rodone Yarafa Emmanuel, a resident of Bangui said:

“I am extremely satisfied because I woke up this morning to come and fulfil a civic duty, which I just did. I am delighted that all the Central African people will stand together to vote in this referendum”

The referendum also served as a dress rehearsal testing whether elections officials can overcome logistical and security challenges ahead of the country’s election.

Also commenting of the exercise, Fabien Kodou, a member of the National Elections Authority said:

“We received all the necessary materials for voting yesterday, and it was all monitored by MINUSCA agents. This morning, we started work very early. We were missing certain things, including the electoral list. It’s quite disorganized and there’s nothing we could do about it. But we’re trying our best and at least we had a good start,”

Another voter, Hamadou Godobe said:

“We were registered to vote, and our constitution is here, so we have the right to vote. If we truly want to give our government and our state a second chance to use all of their means, we should all go vote today,”

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