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A Celebratory Mood Sweeps through Bangui

President Faustin-Archange Touadera has won Central African Republic’s December 27 presidential election by securing more than 53% of votes in the first round, according to provisional results announced by the electoral commission on Monday. “Faustin-Archange Touadera, having received the absolute majority of the vote in the first round with 53.9%, is declared winner,” Mathias Morouba, president of the electoral commission, told a news conference in the capital, Bangui. The election was marred by a coordinated offensive by rebel groups who tried to disrupt the vote after the constitutional court last month rejected several candidates, including former President Francois Bozize. Attacks and the destruction of voting materials, including on Election Day, prevented voting in several towns. Morouba said about half of the country’s electorate, or around 910,000 people, had registered to vote and turnout among the registered voters was 76.3%.