The Constitutional Court of the Central African Republic on Friday rejected the drafting of a new constitution wanted by President Faustin Archange Touadéra.
The court’s decision follows a referral from the opposition, which feared that a fundamental law would allow President Touadéra to run for a third term.
“This is a resounding victory for all democrats, wherever they may be,” said Crépin Mboli-Goumba, the main petitioner.
The High Court called the president’s decrees “unconstitutional”.
“The revision of the Constitution can only be carried out after the establishment of the Senate,” the court said.
“Even if the initiative for a referendum is a constitutional prerogative of the Head of State, it cannot be done in violation of the fundamental law of the Central African Republic,” it added.
Elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2020, Faustin Archange Touadéra set up a committee at the end of August to draft a new constitution. This caused an outcry from the opposition and civil society who suspect the head of state of wanting to extend his mandate beyond his two constitutional terms.