The first round of presidential elections was conducted on
August 11, 1993, but once again the result was canceled by
Kolingba by decree. That made France threaten to suspend its
economic and military aid to the country, forcing Kolingba
to conduct the second round of the presidential election.
On September 1, Kolingba ordered all political prisoners
released, including Bokassa, who had been charged with
cannibalism, murder and public money fraud. On September 19,
Ange-Félix Patassé - Bokassa's former prime minister - was
elected president with 52.47% of the votes cast. See
abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Central African Republic.
In 1994, Patassé continued the rapprochement with France,
which had supported former President Dacko in the 1993
elections. The economy continued to show signs of weakness.
The payment of salaries to public servants was resumed, but
the state still owed a lot of money in the form of salaries
that had not yet been paid. In August 1994, a Kuwait
parliamentary delegation visited the country to thank for
its support during the Gulf War.
On December 28, 1994, a new constitution was passed by a
referendum. Still, the opposition claimed that it was a
defeat for Patassé, as only 46% of voters participated in
the vote. In the international market, cotton and diamond
prices rose, bringing the country's economic growth in 1995
to 7%. But France had decided to devalue the African Franc
(CFA) by 100% (also used as the currency of the Central
African Republic), which hit the population hard.
In May 1996, Patassé asked for military assistance from
France to defeat a new military uprising. The direct
participation of the French soldiers in military meetings
triggered a series of demonstrations against Paris'
intervention. Bangui was paralyzed in the wake of the
uprising, looting and the French military action. The
country's economy now became even more dependent on France.
In June, the president announced the deployment of a
national unity government and appointed the country's former
ambassador to France, Jean Paul Ngoupande as new prime
minister. However, social tensions were not diminished, and
in November a new military uprising broke out - the third in
less than a year.
Following a ceasefire, French troops launched an
offensive against insurgent troops in Bangui in early 1997,
who had been attacked following the killing of two soldiers.
The attack led to Patassé and rebel leader Anicet Saulet
agreeing to replace the French troops with a force of
soldiers from various African countries - funded by Paris.
In January, Patassé, Michel Gbezera-Bria appointed prime
minister. In February, a new government was formed, which
also had opposition ministers. At the same time, most of the
rebel soldiers returned to their barracks. In May, new armed
clashes triggered a political crisis that forced the
opposition to withdraw from the government. New negotiations
between government and rebel forces - with mediation by
foreign troops - contributed to the resolution of the
The hostility towards France became increasingly obvious.
In October, the president demanded that France withdraw from
its military bases in the country. At the same time, he
sought to strengthen relations with the United States.
In March 1998, the United Nations Security Council
decided to send a Special Mission (MINURCA) to Central
Africa consisting of 1,400 peacekeeping soldiers. In April,
the Inter-African peacekeeping forces were replaced by 1,350
MINURCA soldiers. On the same day, France withdrew its 1,400
soldiers from the country. In May, Patassé signed a mutual
defense pact with Democratic Congo President Laurent Kabila.
The same month, the government announced the lifting of
customs duties - this was a claim made by the IMF. In July,
the same international financial institution granted a loan
of DKK 66 million. US $ to continue implementing economic
The planned presidential election in September had to be
postponed for 1 week at the request of the opposition and
with the prospect of unrest. The election gave President
Patassé 51% of the vote, but the opposition requested the
cancellation of the election result and accused the
government of electoral fraud. Former President Andre
Kolingba came in second place with 19% of the vote.