Central African Republic Sees Early Lead for Touadera in Vote

Former Prime Minister Faustin-Archange Touadera took an early lead in results from Central African Republic’s presidential election as the vote count in the diamond-producing nation went into a fifth day.

Touadera was ahead in Central African Republic’s three biggest cities, according to a Bloomberg tally from Sunday’s vote results announced by the electoral commission in the capital, Bangui. He received about 155,000 votes in the localities of Bangui, Bambari and Berberati, while his opponent Anicet-Georges Dologuele got roughly 120,000 votes.

Results from several municipalities in the north are yet to be announced, and it’s not clear when the commission will publish the final results.

Touadera headed the government from 2008 to 2013. Dologuele was finance minister before serving as prime minister from 1999 to 2001.

The election is seen by the United Nations as a first step toward ending the lawlessness that’s gripped the country since March 2013, when mainly Muslim rebels overthrew President Francois Bozize. His ouster was marked by widespread killings of civilians, triggering reprisals by a mainly Christian militia. Bozize’s political party said it backs Dologuele.

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