Central African Republic: Can Legitimacy Last?

Alain Kinzinguere of NDI partner the Central African Human Rights League (right, gesturing) discusses the benefits of a community-built stockyard (background) with the village chief of Damara (left center in coat).

For more than a year after President Faustin Archange Touadera’s surprise runoff victory, the Central African Republic has been consolidating its nascent democratic institutions, including new ones called for in the 2015 constitution. In contrast with previous governments and legislatures that resulted from flawed elections, no elections, or coups d'etat, Mr. Touadera and the elected National Assembly appear to enjoy popular legitimacy—for now.

This legitimacy, however, is now undergoing its first serious test. A recurring theme I heard from Central Africans during a recent visit is that they expect their political leaders and the international community to put an end to the rising violence committed by armed groups in 14 of the country’s 16 provinces.

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Six Critical African Elections to Watch in 2015

Between January 2015 and December 2016, African countries will organize more than 35 presidential and legislative elections, and the outcomes have the potential to spark a sea change for the continent. The first of these polls took place in January with the Zambian presidential election after the unexpected death of President Michael Sata.

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