March 1, 2016 / 11:37 AM / 3 years ago

Central African constitutional court confirms Touadera elected president

Presidential candidate Faustin-Archange Touadera votes during the second round of presidential and legislative elections in Bangui, Central African Republic, February 14, 2016. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

BANGUI (Reuters) - Central African Republic’s constitutional court confirmed former mathematics professor Faustin-Archange Touadera, has been elected president, national radio reported on Tuesday, setting the stage for Touadera to be sworn in later this month.

About 62 percent of voters in the Central African Republic chose Touadera, once a prime minister under ousted leader Francois Bozize, in a run-off that could cap nearly three years of political, communal and religious conflict.

The country suffered the worst crisis in its history in early 2013 when mainly Muslim Seleka fighters toppled Bozize. Christian so-called anti-Balaka militias responded by attacking the Muslim minority. A fifth of the population have fled their homes to escape the violence.

“Since the majority of votes were obtained by Faustin- Archange Touadera, the court proclaims Faustin-Archange as president of the Central African Republic,” said Zacharie Ndouba, the president of the court.

The court also announced it had rejected complaints lodged against the election by candidates who had supported Touadera’s opponent, Anicet-Georges Dologuele, and had asked for a recount or cancellation of the results.

Immediately after the decision, shouts of joy and car horns could be heard on the streets of Bangui, echoing the city’s response after the electoral commission announced initial results two weeks ago.

Touadera, who has pledged to make peace and disarmament his priorities, will be sworn in on March 25.

Reporting by Crispin Dembassa-Kette; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by Larry King

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