Officials propose delaying voting in Central African Republic | News | DW | 24.12.2015
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Officials propose delaying voting in Central African Republic

Authorities in the Bangui have proposed to delay presidential and legislative elections set for this weekend until next week. Officials said they needed the time to train poll workers.

The Central African Republic's National Election Authority said on Thursday it needed to shift elections scheduled for December 27 by three days to deal with technical and organizational issues.

The postponement was "to allow for more succesful organization and ensure these elections are more transparent, credible and democratic," Prime Minister Muhamat Kamoun said. "Most of the poll workers didn't have the level required... It is absolutely necessary to organize training and find the people we need." he added.

According to Reuters news agency, ballots for the polls had arrived in Bangui only in the last few days and had not been distributed to polling stations as yet.

"The date of December 30 would be better for us," Marie-Madeleine N'kouet Hooernaert, chief of the election authority, told a gathering of the heads of CAR's transitional government, presidential candidates and representatives from international organizations including the United Nations and the European Union.

Special adviser to CAR's President Catherine Samba Panza, Henri Pascal Bolanga said all parties agreed to delay the elections, but that the constitutional court would need to approve the new date. The current law says all polling should take place on a Sunday.

Earlier this week, citizens of the CAR voted in favor of a new constitution, clearing the way for fresh elections. The polls are aimed at stemming the conflict that erupted between the country's Christian militia and Muslim Seneka rebels, who overthrew President Francois Bozize in 2013.

mg/rc (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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