Central Africa Republic leader heads for life presidency

Monday May 17 2010

THE PROMISE: President Bozize at an earlier

THE PROMISE: President Bozize at an earlier function. PHOTO BY AGENCIES 

By Jean-Mathew Tamba,Daily Monitor Correspondent

The military turned civilian president of the Central African Republic Francois Bozize heads for life presidency. Following a controversial constitutional amendment, the lawmakers of the embattled country have declared the leader aspire to an “indefinite” mandate.

Pro-government elements say the decision was necessary to bury the altercations over the electoral process which they believe could lead to a break down in law and order.

The electoral process has been stalled for several months now as the opposition political parties, backed by civil society organisations face off with the government.

The altercation
The altercation had been over party accreditation, dubious electoral list and the presidential mandate. Almost immediately following the “indefinite” extension of the presidential mandate last week, the legislators took on the country’s independent electoral commission.

The commission was requested to work out modalities for the resumption of dialogue between the government on the one hand and the opposition parties and civil society on the other.

Furthermore, the lawmakers urged the electoral commission to provide a “realistic and precise” chronogram of events and a budget that could enhance the pursuit of the electoral process.

They also requested the commission to produce a date at the earliest possible time, for the holding of elections in conformity with the legal timelines set by the electoral code.

But critics argue that the electoral commission has been stripped of its usefulness and could no longer organise and arbiter credible elections.
It can be recalled that President Bozizé came to power through a coup d’état he staged against the erstwhile civilian leader Ange Félix Patassé whom the president recently accused of planning to overthrow his government by use of force.