The top UN envoy for the Central African Republic (CAR) on Monday asked for efforts to ensure peaceful elections in the country.
The presidential and legislative elections in December represent a unique opportunity to capitalize on the democratic gains of the 2015 elections and to consolidate the constitutional order and continue the work of stabilizing the country, Mankeur Ndiaye, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for the CAR and head of the UN peacekeeping mission, told the Security Council.
The National Electoral Authority has so far registered 1.86 million Central African voters from the country’s 16 prefectures and from the diaspora in 13 countries.
The enrollment threshold for women has reached 46 percent. The CAR is on course toward the holding of elections, the success of which requires the commitment of all stakeholders and the respect for the authority of the Constitutional Court, said Ndiaye.
He called on political actors, the media and opinion leaders to refrain from any disinformation campaign or messages of stigmatization.
Working with the entire international community, the UN peacekeeping mission in the CAR, MINUSCA, is determined to facilitate the holding of the upcoming elections, he said. He asked the international community to help fill the funding gap of about 17.7 million U.S. dollars for the elections, including local elections scheduled for 2021.
Local elections will be decisive for the development of local governance, the effective restoration of state authority, the advent of decentralization and the re-establishment of the social contract between the state and its citizens, said Ndiaye.
Twenty months after the signing of the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the CAR between the government and 14 armed groups, notable progress continues to be made, in particular in terms of political reform, restoration of state authority and transitional justice.
The agreement provides a strategic framework that promotes a more protective environment for the population, he said.
“I call on stakeholders to view the upcoming elections as an opportunity to consolidate the democratic process and to politically transform the crisis the country is going through with a view to lasting solutions,” he said.
“I continue to encourage political dialogue through my good offices to support the creation of an environment conducive to the holding of inclusive, free, fair, transparent, credible and peaceful elections by engaging the international community … and the Central African actors in Bangui.
The coordinated and continued support of international partners to stakeholders will be critical to the success of the presidential and legislative elections.”