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Central African Republic Politics

Government and Politics of Central African Republic

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 thwarted.

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%.

 

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