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Central African Republic votes in second round

31 March 2016, 19:48

Bangui - Voters in the Central African Republic went to the polls on Thursday for the second round of the country's parliamentary election, a day after the new president was sworn in.

At his inauguration on Wednesday, President Faustin-Archange Touadera vowed to "preserve peace" after three years of turmoil and violence between Christians and Muslims that has killed thousands since 2013.

Turnout for Thursday's ballot was slow in the morning, in contrast to the long lines seen at polling stations for the first round on February 14.

Many voters complained of fatigue after numerous delays, cancellations and run-off ballots in the presidential and parliamentary elections aimed at ending the spiral of inter-communal unrest that has displaced more than 400 000 people.

The violence disrupted farming, transport and public services in one of the world's poorest nations and was so serious that France - the former colonial power - launched a military intervention and the UN deployed a peacekeeping force.

The first round of the parliamentary vote on December 30 was cancelled by the constitutional court over various irregularities and rearranged for February 14, the same day as the first round of the presidential vote.

"First I voted in the constitutional referendum, then the first and second round of the presidential vote. Same for the cancelled first round of the parliamentary election and the re-run. I've really had enough of voting," Edgar Modale, a voter in Bangui, told AFP.

There were 85 seats up for grabs in Thursday's election, out of 140 in the country's National Assembly. Forty-five candidates were elected in the first round, while a new first round is to be held in 10 constituencies where irregularities were reported.



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