Convinced that the Central African president is trying to cling to power and determined to prevent him from doing so, the opposition created the Republican Bloc for the Defense of the Constitution (BRDC) at the end of July. Crépin Mboli-Goumba officially took over in mid-August, just as Faustin-Archange Touadéra wrote on Facebook that “more and more voices are rising[aient] to demand a modification of the Constitution”, and added: “I listened to you. I take note of your urgent requests. »
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Can the opposition still block Faustin-Archange Touadéra? What is his real capacity for mobilization in the face of a head of state who enjoys the support of the Russians? Young Africa asked the question to the lawyer and opponent Crépin Mboli-Goumba, who formally seized, on August 22, the Constitutional Court.
Capcov: In your opinion, there is no longer any doubt that President Touadéra wants to modify the Constitution?
Crepin Mboli-Goumba : Oui, he wants to revise the existing Constitution, which dates from March 2016, or even have another adopted, because he wants to establish power for life. He already reigned supreme, he now wants to reign without limit in time. This is why Central African men and women stood up to say no, as they had already faced the dictatorship of Emperor Bokassa or at the time of General Kolingba. Today, we are fighting to defend the Constitution, but also democracy.
You are in Bangui. Don’t you fear for your safety?
The fight for democracy is always dangerous, and this is particularly true in the Central African Republic, where foreign soldiers are deployed, where pro-government militias are rampant, such as the famous “sharks”, and where so many characters gravitate, sometimes sulphurous, who have every interest in Touadéra remaining in power. But it is a fight worth fighting. It’s risky, but we owe it to our children. We must leave them a free country.
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What capacity for mobilization do you have in the face of power?
The Bloc brings together 30 political parties and civil society associations, each of which has already demonstrated its ability to mobilize. And then President Touadéra is ultra-minority, which means that the majority is on the side of those who want to defend democracy.
But what means do you have to obstruct the Head of State?
Legal means, provided for by this Constitution which he precisely wants to modify. We can demonstrate, organize rallies, seize international mechanisms. There are many actions that we can and will take inside and outside the Central African Republic to prevent Faustin-Archange Touadéra from establishing totalitarian power.
The Central African president is in our eyes liable to high treason
The power willingly accuses the opposition of being close to the rebels of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC). Doesn’t that risk harming the cause you are defending?
I don’t know anyone who can seriously assimilate the opposition to the CPC. My fight has always been democratic. When the clashes broke out [en décembre 2021], I said that it was not normal to take up arms to gain access to the supreme magistracy. And then, what are the accusations of people who, every day, collaborate with armed groups, and who have their own militias? Take the attack on the village of Boyo [dans la préfecture de la Ouaka] end of 2021: a United Nations investigation [publiée en juillet dernier] did it not establish that those responsible were to be found among the militias operating under the direction or with the consent of the authorities?
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The Central African president is in our eyes liable to high treason. He has lost all legitimacy to lead this country. He has to hand over. It would be tragic if he persisted when he was doomed to fail. We are mobilized and we will go all the way.
And yet, the opposition has once again shown its inability to unite. A member of your party has come to power. The MLPC [Mouvement de libération du peuple centrafricain, de Martin Ziguélé] is divided…
The main thing is to keep fighting. Two or three people actually jumped ship, sometimes showing themselves receptive to material considerations and inscribing their names on the dastardly altar of traitors. But the bulk of our forces remain intact. We are on the right side of the story we are trying to write.
Le Kwa and Kwa [KNK, parti de l’ancien président François Bozizé] did not join your coalition. Does this worry you given its political weight?
No, because he said he was in tune with our fight. There are several ways to we sustain.