In the November-December 98 parliamentary elections,
Patassé's ruling party and its allies won only 49 of the 109
seats in parliament, but after a series of negotiations, 5
independent candidates and 1 runner-up from the opposition
switched to the government, thus giving this majority.
Still, the appointment of the new government triggered
violent demonstrations in Bangui in January 1999. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of CT and its meanings of Central African Republic.
In January 2000, gunfire between the Presidential Guard
and military units sparked panic in the capital. The units
had been loyal to President Patassé in previous coup
attempts, but now accused him of failing to meet demands
made during previous revolts. Garden, however, got the
military units under control, and the rebellion was
In December 2000, the civil servants launched a general
strike in protest of missing wages. In some cases, wages
were delayed for up to 30 months. In the capital Bangui,
most of the shops and offices were closed and traffic was
severely restricted. Police and military were on alert.
To put an end to the clashes in the country, the leaders
of the Central African Economic Common Market from their
Cameroon summit in January 2001 called for dialogue and
respect for the constitution of the Central African
Republic. President Patassé also attended this summit, but
his spokesman stated after the meeting that it was not
possible to conduct a reconciliation process with rebel
leader François Bozize, who was former chief of staff.
Bozize, who had sought refuge in Chad, now traveled to
France, where he had been granted asylum. But in October
2001, Bozize unexpectedly returned to Chad. At the same
time, rebels loyal to him crossed the border between Chad
and the Central African Republic, occupying a number of
cities and a third of the capital. They demanded that
Patassé resume dialogue with the opposition or, if not,
withdraw. Patassé rejected the claim and in November, the
rebels attempted to conduct a coup attempt, which however
was turned down.
In February 2002, the people of Bangui began to complain
about the Libyan troops who had arrived in the country to
defend the president after a failed coup attempt. These
troops controlled radio, TV and the airport. The presence of
these troops also created problems in relation to Chad, who
has an oil pipeline in the southern part of the country
close to the border with the Central African Republic.
On March 15, 2003, Bozize conducted its second coup
attempt, this time succeeding and sending President Patassé
into exile in Cameroon. By its coup, Bozize suspended the
constitution, dissolved the National Assembly and
inaugurated a transitional government with 28 ministers. The
28 came from civil society and from all the political
parties. The various intervention forces signed an agreement
with the new president on conducting democratic elections in
2004, and Patassé agreed in May to enter into a dialogue to
ensure a transition to democracy.
In August 2004, an information campaign was launched on
the presidential election to be held in January 2005, funded
by international donors who were determined to put an end to
the coup regime and to end social and economic instability
and violence in the country. The campaign was carried out in
a collaboration between the military government and the UN
Office of Peace in the Central African Republic (BONUCA). It
was implemented throughout the country; was aimed at voters
who were encouraged to register for voters; organized
debates and political meetings involving both men and women,
NGOs, political parties and religious institutions.
When the presidential election was finally held in June
2005, it was won by Bozize, who got 64.6% of the vote in the
second election. The counter candidate, former Prime
Minister Martin Ziguele got 35.4%. In the first round of
elections, Bozize had gained 43% and Ziguele 23% against
former President Andre Kolingba, who had to settle for 16%.