Electoral materials arrive in the Central African Republic ahead of presidential and parliamentary pollsFeb 9, 2016
Electoral materials arrived today in the Central African Republic’s capital Bangui ahead of the second round of presidential and the first round of parliamentary elections scheduled for 14 February.
The supplies were brought into Bangui M’Poko International Airport by two cargo aircrafts flying from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Cotonou, the capital of Benin.
Among voting materials are 2,360,000 ballot papers for the second round of presidential elections and 2,142,700 for the first round of parliamentary polls. A total of 132,000 documents between ballot envelopes, results sheets and voting records were also delivered.
“Starting tomorrow morning, in accordance with the deployment plan, we will begin distributing them to prefectures, then to sub-prefectures and polling stations,” said Mathieu Bile who heads the UN’s integrated electoral assistance initiative, and is director of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
“With support from MINSUCA and in cooperation with the Autorité Nationale des Elections we will make sure supplies are in place on time”. The ANE is the country’s electoral management body, the National Electoral Authority. ANE Vice President Bernard Kpongaba also welcomed the timely arrival of the materials which he considers crucial to the success of the electoral process. “Receiving these materials is proof of serious and successful work. Everything has to happen under the best possible conditions. Having received the materials well in advance allows us to dispatch them to the most remote localities”, said Kpongaba upon the arrival of the freight.
The delivery of electoral materials is part of the work of the Project to Support the Electoral Cycle in the Central African Republic, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Technical and financial support has also been contributed by the African Union, the European Union, the Republic of Congo, France, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Kingdom of Morocco, UN Women and UNDP, as well as MINUSCA. Further contributions were made by the US Government through the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, an agency engaged with law enforcement and fund raising for peace.
Despite these efforts and pledges for support, the elections still face a USD 3 million funding gap. The 14 February polls are aimed at ending the ongoing political transition period, which begun in 2014, and will enable the re-establishment of peace and constitutionalism.