January 26, 2016 / 12:36 PM / 3 years ago

Central African court cancels legislative polls, orders rerun

BANGUI (Reuters) - Central African Republic’s Constitutional Court has annulled the results of a legislative election, citing irregularities, setting back a transition to democracy after years of conflict.

Observers had praised the peaceful nature of the polls, meant to end a rocky transition period punctuated by violence between militias drawn from the Christian majority and a mostly Muslim alliance of Seleka rebels.

“The court has decided to cancel the (legislative) election of 30 December 2015 and to reschedule it for the whole country,” Zacharie Ndouba, the court’s president, said late on Monday.

He said that some of the candidates appeared to be implicated in the irregularities, adding that more than 400 complaints had been logged.

The court’s decision raises questions over the next steps for the electoral process since the former French colony could now find itself with a president but no new parliament.

Results of the first round of a presidential election held alongside the legislative vote have already been validated by the court. A date for a runoff between former prime ministers Anicet-Georges Dologuele and Faustin-Archange Touadera has yet to be announced.

Reporting by Crispin Dembassa-Kette; Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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