Election brings hope for peace in C. Africa after the worst sectarian violence since independence in 1960.
Faustin-Archange Touadera, a former prime minister and maths teacher standing as an independent, has been elected president of the Central African Republic, the country’s national electoral authority said on Saturday
Touadera won 62.71 percent of the vote compared with 37.29 for his rival Anicet-Georges Dologuele, a former banker nicknamed “Mr Clean” who had won the first round on December 30, in the hotly-contested run-off seen as crucial to usher in peace after decades of turmoil.
The results must still be validated by the country’s transitional constitutional court.
Toudera, 58, surprised everyone with his second place finish in the first round. He was the last premier of ex-president Francois Bozize who was ousted from power in 2013.
He campaigned like most candidates promising to restore security in a country riven with tit-for-tit sectarian violence and boost the economy in the mineral-rich but dirt-poor nation.
The sectarian violence erupted after Bozize, a Christian, was overthrown by the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel alliance.
The coup triggered a series of revenge attacks involving Muslim forces and Christian vigilante groups known as “anti-balaka” (anti-machete) militias.
Thousands were slaughtered in the spiral of atrocities that drove about a tenth of the population of 4.8 million people to flee their homes.