Central African presidential election, 1981

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Central African Republic

Presidential elections were held in the Central African Republic on 15 March 1981.[1] They were the first national elections of any sort since 1964, the first elections since the overthrow of longtime ruler Jean-Bédel Bokassa in 1979, and the first multiparty presidential elections since independence. Five candidates—David Dacko, Ange-Félix Patassé, François Pehoua, Henri Maïdou and Abel Goumba—ran for the election.

The elections were won by Dacko, who had been restored back to the Presidency as part of Operation Barracuda, which overthrew Emperor Jean-Bédel Bokassa. Dacko tried to pose as the inheritor of Barthélemy Boganda, the national hero who founded the country.


Candidate Party Votes %
David Dacko Central African Democratic Union 374,027 51.10
Ange-Félix Patassé Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People 283,739 38.77
François Pehoua Independent Grouping for Reflection 39,661 5.42
Henri Maïdou Republican Progressive Party 24,007 3.28
Abel Goumba Oubanguian Patriotic Front 10,512 1.44
Invalid/blank votes 12,742
Total 744,688 100
Registered voters/turnout 971,395 76.66
Source: EISA


  1. ^ Nohlen, D, Krennerich, M & Thibaut, B (1999) Elections in Africa: A data handbook, p210 ISBN 0-19-829645-2