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US urges Central Africa to pick leaders with 'integrity'

Published on Jan 16, 2014 8:09 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States on Wednesday called for the Central African Republic to hold a transparent vote to choose a new interim president, who could usher in a new period of stability.

The country's lawmakers were struggling on Wednesday to agree on rules for the Saturday vote to replace Mr Michel Djotodia, who resigned under international pressure last week, amid fears the poll may be delayed.

Mr Djotodia quit last week after failing to rein in his ex-Seleka rebels leading to sectarian bloodshed, with his fighters embarking on a spree of looting and rape, which in turn sparked revenge attacks from Christian militias.

"The United States is closely following the ongoing deliberations of the Central African Republic's Transitional National Council as it works to select a new president and prime minister," deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

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