Welcoming today's announcement of the results of the first round of the presidential elections in the Central African Republic (CAR), the United Nations envoy for the country has invited the two candidates that will participate in an upcoming run-off poll, "to maintain the spirit of peace and restraint that has prevailed" throughout the process thus far.
Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, officially appointed today as the UN Secretary-General's Special representative in the CAR, hailed the results of the first round of the presidential election announced by the National Elections Authority (ANE).
"He congratulates the two candidates, Anicet Georges Dologuélé and Faustin Archange Touadéra, who ranks respectively first and second in the 30 December 2015 election, and invites them to maintain the spirit of peace and restraint that has prevailed up-to-now," said a statement issued by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the country, known by the French acronym, MINUSCA, and which Mr. Onanga-Anyanga now heads.
The statement goes on to note that the Special Representative calls on the two final participants in the second round to prepare their militants and sympathizers for a peaceful campaign mindful of civic responsibilities, in line with the spirit demonstrated by the Central African population along the electoral process. He stressed that the elected President will be that of all Central Africans.
Mr. Onanga-Anyanga also congratulated the 28 other candidates of the first round on the quality of their campaign marked by dignity and mutual respect which led to a "massive" participation of Central African voters to the presidential and legislative elections.
"He urges them to use legal means to appeal results in case of suspected irregularities and asks them to call on their partisans to respect the results announced by the ANE," said the statement, adding that MINUSCA and the United Nations family remain by the side of the CAR transitional authorities and the ANE to bring their support and secure the electoral process as a whole.
The UN has played a major role in seeking to restore peace in the Central African Republic, with military and police units from the 11,000-strong MINUSCA joining soldiers from the French Sangaris force and local security teams last 30 December at polling stations to ensure a peaceful vote.
After nine months of improved stability in CAR, a new wave of inter-communal violence erupted in September, killing at least 130 people, injuring 430 others, and triggering an 18 per cent increase in the number of internally displaced persons to 447,500.