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World > Africa > Central African Republic > Government and Political Conditions (Notes)

Central African Republic - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
The government is a republic comprised of a strong executive branch (president, vice president, prime minister, and council of ministers), and weak legislative and judicial branches. Government and opposition party members, as well as civil society and the military are represented in the three branches, although the president appoints the vice president, prime minister, members of the cabinet (Council of Ministers), top military officials, and managers of national parastatals.

The National Assembly is made up of 109 members elected by popular vote to serve 5-year terms. Legislative elections were held in 1998; in contested results, the government?s Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People (MLPC) won just over 50% control of the legislative body. Legislative elections were last held in spring 2005.

For administration purposes, the country is divided into 16 prefectures that are further divided into over 60 subprefectures; the commune of Bangui is administered separately. The president currently appoints heads of these administrative units, called 'prefets' and 'sous-prefets'. There are 174 communes, each headed by a mayor and council appointed by the president. Suffrage is universal over the age of 21.

The judicial sector encompasses the Constitutional Court, Court of Cassation, Court of Appeals, criminal and civil courts, Labor Court, and Juvenile Court, although several of these courts have insufficient resources and trained personnel to operate on a regular basis. The Criminal Court of Bangui sits once or twice a year, usually for 1 or 2 months each session. Judges are appointed by the president; executive influence often impedes transparent handling of judicial affairs. Military courts exist but are currently only used to try military personnel for crimes committed in the course of duty. There are a limited number of formal courts currently functioning outside Bangui; traditional arbitration and negotiation play a major role in administering domestic, property, and probate law.

The Central African Republic has a vibrant civil society, with numerous professional, labor, and local development associations actively carrying out campaigns and gaining greater local and international credibility.

The C.A.R. Government's human rights record remains flawed. There are continued reports of arbitrary detainment, torture and, to a lesser degree, extra judicial killings. Journalists have occasionally been threatened, and prison conditions remain harsh.

Principal Government Officials
President of the Republic, Head of State--Francois Bozize
Prime Minister--Elie Dote
State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and Francophony--Mr. Jean-Paul NGOUPANDE
Minister of Finance and Budget--Mr. Théodore DABANGA
Ambassador to the United States--Emmanuel Touaboy
Ambassador to the United Nations--Fernand Poukre-Kono

The Central African Republic maintains an embassy in the United States at 1618-22nd Street, NW, Washington, DC (tel: 202-483-7800/01, fax: 202-332-9893).


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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