One passerby on the streets of Bangui, capital of Central African Republic (CAR), said he knew nothing of the new draft constitution which is to be put to the vote in a referendum on Sunday (13.12.2015). “How we are we supposed to vote?,” he asked. Another man was equally bewildered. “I know nothing about a campaign for a referendum. But every Central African should find out what’s at stake,” he said. One of the reasons for the uncertainty over the new constitution is that several versions of it are circulating on the Internet. Most Central Africans don’t know exactly what they will be asked to decide upon.
Analyst Tim Glawion from the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg has also been poring over various versions of the draft constitution of the Central African Republic. On Friday he was unable to say which version would be submitted to voters. A final version had neither been made available to the citizens of CAR, nor had there been any discussion of its contents with their rulers.
Campaigning for the referendum began just over a week ago. Members of the transitional authority, such as Modibo Bachir Walidou, minister for territorial administration, urged the population to vote in favor of the draft constitution. He said the document means “that the state will guarantee that all regions of the country will be represented in public institutions. And that is a big step forward.”