The constitution, approved by referendum on December 5, 2004, designated the Central African Republic as a presidential republic with a multi-party system and a fixed separation of powers as well as essential civil and human rights. According to this constitution, the head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces was the president (directly elected for 5 years, one-time re-election), who was given extensive powers (including the appointment of the prime minister and the cabinet; legislative initiative, veto right against decisions of the legislature). The legislature was then carried out by the National Assembly (105 members, elected for 5 years according to majority voting). With the coup in 2013, the previous constitution was suspended. According to cancermatters, a constitutional charter issued in July 2013 enacted constitutional regulations for a transitional period. The head of state was then the interim president elected by the interim parliament with 135 members, who appoints the prime minister and the government. On December 13, 2015, a new presidential constitution was adopted by referendum.
There is a wide-ranging multi-party system, including Union pour le Renouveau Centrafricain (URCA, founded in 2014), Mouvement de Liberation du Peuple Centrafricain (MLPC, founded 1979), Rassemblement Démocratique Centrafricain (RDC; founded 1987, until 1991 unity party), Alliance pour la Démocratie et le Progrès (ADP, founded 1991), »Kwa na Kwa« (German work and work; founded in 2009 from the Convergence Nationale »Kwa na Kwa« [CN-KNK] collection movement formed in 2005), among others Parti de l’Unité Nationale [PUN; founded in 1998]).
There are three unions: Union Syndicale des Travailleurs de Centrafrique (USTC), Confédération Nationale des Travailleurs de Centrafrique (CNTC) and Confédération Syndicale des Travailleurs de Centrafrique (CSTC).
The total strength of the conscription army is around 2,150, that of the paramilitary gendarmerie around 1,000 men. The force is divided into 2 infantry battalions and a support association, plus a non-active homeland security battalion and a small marine element. The air force has around 150 men.
The Central African Republic is administratively divided into 16 prefectures and the capital region.
The judiciary includes ordinary and administrative jurisdiction. At the top of the ordinary jurisdiction is the Court of Cassation (consisting of chambers for civil, commercial, criminal and social law), and at the top of the administrative jurisdiction is the Council of State. There is also an audit office, which has some judicial functions, a court that decides on the allocation of disputes to ordinary or administrative jurisdiction (Tribunal des Conflits) and a court (Haute Cour de Justice) that decides on charges against political officials. The latter two only meet when necessary. A constitutional court established in 1995 was dissolved again in 2003.
Formally in first place is the still applicable, little changed written law of French origin; in fact, customary rights are predominant. The trade and business law between the French-speaking countries in Africa is harmonized by the OHADA.
The school system is shaped by French. There is general compulsory schooling between the ages of 6 and 14. The primary school, which is attended by over 50% of the children of one age group, lasts 6 years. The language of instruction in the first two primary school classes is Sango, the other French. The secondary schools have two cycles of four and three years. A university (founded in 1970) exists in Bangui.
The media landscape is divided along the political lines of conflict. The reporting is highly biased. The radio is by far the most important medium.
Press: In addition to the state-run Centrafrique Presse, there are independent newspapers, mainly in the capital, of which only half a dozen appear regularly with low circulation. “Le Citoyen” and “Le Confident”.
News agencies: “Agence Centrafricaine de Presse” (ACAP, state), “Centrafrique Presse Info”, “La Nouvelle Centrafrique” (LNC).
Broadcasting: The state “Radiodiffusion-Télévision Centrafricaine” operates “Radio Centrafricaine” (French, Sango), the only one with a nationwide catchment area, and the television station “TVCA”, which can only be received in some areas. The Hirondelle Foundation (Switzerland) operates “Radio Ndeke Luka” (Bangui). There are also some local and religious radio stations.
Bangui [ – gi ], capital of the Central African Republic, the Ubangi, with (2003) 622 800 residents.
Bangui is the country’s cultural and economic center.
Bimbo, the second largest city in the Central African Republic, in the south-west of the country, in the immediate vicinity of Bangui, (2003) 124 200 residents.
Berbérati, city in the southwest of the Central African Republic, (2003) 76,900 residents.
Catholic bishopric; Trade in local products (palm oil, sisal, coffee); at Berbérati diamond mining; Airport.
Bambari, city in the Central African Republic, trading center of the eastern part of the country on the Transafrica Road, (2003) 41 400 residents.
Research Institute for Textile Fibers; in the area cotton growing, cattle breeding; Airport.