Today, in the Central African Republic, voters will turn out en masse to select their choice leaders in the war torn African country.
After peace returned to the country, the polls which was supposed to produce leaders that will unite the country after its incessant crisis, has been postponed several times due to violence and logistical problems, with the first round of the polls delayed by three days from Sunday, partly because of reports of clashes in regions where armed gangs still hold sway.
The vote, which also includes legislative polls, follows a referendum on constitutional change that was backed by a resounding 93 percent of voters, widely seen as showing how much people long for peace and a return to normal life.
Three men are tipped as front-runners in a race with 30 candidates. All are experienced politicians who held high-profile posts in previous governments and one comes from the small Muslim minority population.
The violence in the mineral-rich but dirt poor country followed the ouster in March 2013 of president Francois Bozize by a mainly Islamic rebel alliance, the Seleka, which installed Michel Djotodia, the first Muslim head of state of a mostly Christian country.
Djotodia quit in January 2014 after disbanding the Seleka, but attacks on Christians by rogue Muslim forces led to brutal reprisals against Muslim districts by “anti-balaka” (“anti-machete”) militias from Christian communities.
Political observers anticipate that a second round will prove necessary and expect it to be held by the end of January.