Sunday, 23 January 2011

CAR update

Reuters reports that voting began peacefully in Central African Republic's parliamentary and presidential elections today but delays and lack of equipment were reported at some polling stations. The results of the election are due within 8 days and it is expected that the incumbent, President Bozize (who came to power in a 2003 coup) will retain power. If results are not decisive, a run-off will be held in March.

In searching for news about the CAR, I also came across this story about the Paris Chateau of the former dictator of the Central African Republic that was recently sold. The mansion belonged to now-deceased Jean-Bedel Bokassa who ruled the CAR from 1966 until he was overthrown in (another) coup in 1979. Bokassa was later convicted of murder and imprisoned in the CAR for five years. He was recently formally 'rehabilitated', with the current president calling him a great nation-builder. The mansion is still occupied by his family. It was auctioned for 915 000 Euros, more than 2000 times the GDP per person ($454) of his former country.

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