CENTRAL AFRICAL REPUBLIC WOMAN PRESIDENT IS THE WINNER
The Central African Republic's transitional parliament elected the mayor of the capital Bangui, Catherine Samba-Panza, as interim president on Monday. She has the tall task of ending months of sectarian killings and guiding the country to elections.Samba-Panza, who defeated seven other candidates, succeeds Michel Djotodia, the leader of the Seleka rebels who seized power in March. Djotodia stepped down on Jan. 10 under intense international pressure after failing to halt inter-religious violence that has displaced more than 1 million people.
Samba-Panza was elected in a second-round runoff by 75 votes to 53 for her rival Desire Kolingba, the son of former president Andre Kolingba.The landlocked former French colony descended in chaos in March after Seleka unleashed a wave of killing and looting, triggering revenge attacks by Christian militia known as "Anti-Balaka," which is opposed to the Seleka rebel group.Many now hope that the election of a new interim president with no links to either camp will help to bring calm to the nation of 4.6 million people.