The president affirms that with this initiative “he bows to the demands of the people”
Sep. 15 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The president of the Central African Republic, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, has launched a committee that will be in charge of drafting the new Constitution, amid opposition complaints about his alleged plans to extend the number of mandates.
The body is made up of 50 people and will have three months to present a new Magna Carta project, although the main opposition parties and the Catholic Church have refused to participate in the process, according to the Radio France Internationale radio station.
Touadéra has argued that with this initiative “he bows to the demands of the people” and has underlined that “no institution has the power to confront popular sovereignty”, before the appeal filed by the opposition before the Constitutional Court against the formation of the said committee.
In this sense, the Central African president has highlighted that “the Constitution of March 30, 2016 does not give the President of the Republic or any other institution the power to confront popular sovereignty or to limit or prohibit the exercise of this sovereignty”.
“I have realized that the majority of our compatriots consider that our legal corpus should not be set in stone and should adapt”, he explained, before stressing that the committee in charge of preparing the constitutional draft has “an inclusive character” despite the absence of opposition.
The current Constitution prohibits the head of state from running for a third term. Touadéra was elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2020, after controversial elections marked by the offensive of the rebels of the Coalition Patriots for Change (CPC) and the rejection of the results by the opposition.
Thus, the opposition alliance Democratic Opposition Coalition 2020 (COD-2020) refused to recognize the president’s re-election despite the Constitutional Court’s endorsement of the electoral results after its repeated calls for a postponement due to insecurity and withdrawal of the candidacy of one of the candidates, which, according to the electoral law, would have forced an extension.
The African country has been plunged into a serious crisis as a result of the elimination of the 2020 presidential candidacy of former President François Bozizé, who returned to the country at the end of 2019 to once again be a candidate for the Presidency, a position he abandoned in 2014 before the rise of the Séléka rebels, predominantly Muslims. Bozizé currently heads the CPC.