The UN Security Council on Tuesday encouraged the CAR authorities and opposition leaders to ensure that the country's presidential elections are held as scheduled. In a press statement, Council President Martin Andjaba of Namibia said the members noted the progress made in preparing for the elections, scheduled for 12 September. A second round of voting is slated
for 3 October. The members "stressed that the full implementation of the Bangui Agreements is the only viable option for obtaining peace and security" in the country, Ambassador Andjaba was quoted as saying in the statement.
Ten candidates - incumbent President Ange-Felix Patasse, six opposition leaders and three independents - are vying for a six-year term. [For additional information, see separate item on 1 September headlined: "IRIN special report on elections"]
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