Concerns for free and fair elections in CAP
Four candidates standing for the 23rd January Presidential election campaign in the Central African Republic have issued an open letter outlining their concerns for the conduct of a free and fair election. They are Jean-Jaques Démafouth, (APRD), Justin Wilite (Congress for the African Renaissance), Martin Ziguélé (MLPC) and Emile Gros Raymond Nakombo (RDC).
The letter published in full through the Centra Afrique Presse criticises the planning and arrangements in place for the election campaign which is due to start on 8th January.
In particular the four signatories point to a violation of the Election code and Agreement of 10th August 2010. They say that Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) staff haven’t been paid, that some potential candidates were denied the opportunity to join the process, that meetings of the IEC are being held in secret, that computerisation of the electoral rolls has been abandoned in favour of manual lists (Ed: which are more easily tampered with), that two types of vote cards have been issued and that roadblocks are preventing candidates reaching parts of the country.
The candidates also state that former combatants have not been reintegrated into the armed forces as previously agreed.
As a result they are demanding that the IEC is chaired by a neutral person, the timing of elections is chaired by a neutral person, that defense and security forces should be working to reduce intimidation of voters, the elections be postponed, international observers be brought in and that the transportation of ballots and records is ensured by MICOPAX (Mission for the Consolidation of Peace)