Election controversy source of potential instability

The controversy surrounding the reelection of President Ange-Felix Patasse in September “does not augur well for political stability and economic growth in the medium term”, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said in its latest quarterly report on the CAR. Despite Patasse’s public appeals for calm, he may be reluctant to offer opposition leaders prominent positions with real influence, which could lead his more trenchant opponents to “take their grievances onto the streets”. The withdrawal of the UN Mission in the CAR (MINURCA) would open up a “potentially dangerous political vacuum” in Bangui, while the mission’s extension could prevent the CAR from “sliding towards chaos”, the report said. It was also essential that the urban economy begin to recover and to generate new employment in the relatively near future “if the CAR is to creep back from the brink of a slide into renewed violence”, it added.