Defeated CAR candidate concedes poll results despite ‘massive fraud’

Central African Republic second round presidential candidate Anicet Georges Dologuele. PHOTO | AFP 

Central African Republic presidential candidate Anicet George Dologuele has said he will accept the results of the presidential election runoff of February 14 despite what he called “massive fraud” in the latest ballot.

At a press conference on Saturday night, Mr Dologuele said he will recognise Mr Faustin Archange Touadera as president, although he expressed concern about irregularities.

“For the sake of peace I will accept the result and respect Mr Touadera as president of the Republic…I wish him good luck,” Mr Dologuele told a press conference in Bangui.

A former prime minister, Mr Dologuele topped the first round of the December 30, 2015 presidential election in the crisis-hit central African nation.

But his rival Touadera garnered 62.71 per cent of the ballots cast in the runoff of February 14, according to results by the National Elections Authority (ANE).

Reconciliation and recovery

Mr Touadera, also a former prime minister, was named winner of the runoff that is hoped to turn the page on years of violent turmoil in CAR.

The two former prime ministers had campaigned on a platform of restoring security and boosting the economy.

Many hope the vote will strengthen a tentative peace after more than two years of sectarian fighting left untold thousands dead and forced nearly 500,000 people to flee to neighbouring countries.

Reconciliation and recovery are the huge tasks facing the Central African Republic’s new leader.

Mr Touadera’s spokesman called for calm and asked the country’s population of 5 million to back the new leader in his pursuit of “reconciliation and recovery”.

Foreign observers have praised the peaceful nature of the polls but had not yet commented on Saturday’s results.