List of heads of state of the Central African Republic

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President of the
Central African Republic
Président de la
République centrafricaine
Coat of arms of the Central African Republic.svg
Faustin Touadera.jpg
Faustin-Archange Touadéra

since 30 March 2016
ResidenceRenaissance Palace, Bangui
Term lengthFive years, renewable once
Inaugural holderDavid Dacko
Formation12 December 1960
21 September 1979 (office reestablished)
Salary3 049 Euros per month[1]
Coat of arms of the Central African Republic.svg
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This article lists the heads of state of the Central African Republic and the Central African Empire. There have been seven heads of state in the history of the Central African Republic and the Central African Empire since independence was obtained from the French on 13 August 1960. This list includes not only those persons who were sworn into office as President of the Central African Republic but also those who served as de facto heads of state.

Jean-Bédel Bokassa served as a de facto head of state (and also reigned as Emperor from 1976–1979), while David Dacko (who served as de facto head of state from 1979–1981), André Kolingba, Ange-Félix Patassé, and François Bozizé were elected into office at some point during their tenure. To date, Kolingba is the only former head of state of the Central African Republic to voluntarily step down from the office through a democratic process, following the 1993 general election.

The current President of the Central African Republic is Faustin-Archange Touadéra, since 30 March 2016.

Political affiliations[edit]

Political parties
Other factions

For heads of state with multiple affiliations, the political party listed first is the party the person was affiliated with at the beginning of the tenure.

Heads of state[edit]

Central African Republic
French: République centrafricaine
Sango: Ködörösêse tî Bêafrîka
Head of state
Portrait Entered office Left office Political affiliations Notes
David Dacko
President of the Provisional Government
David Dacko 1962 crop.jpg 14 August 1960[2] 12 December 1960[A] MESAN Dacko served as president of the government from 1 May 1959[3] until the country declared its independence on 13 August 1960.[4]
David Dacko
12 December 1960 1 January 1966[5]  
Jean-Bédel Bokassa
Bokassa colored.png 1 January 1966[B] 4 December 1976 Military Bokassa seized power from Dacko in a successful coup d'état. He changed his name to Salah Eddine Ahmed Bokassa after converting to Islam on 20 October 1976.[6]
Central African Empire
French: Empire centrafricain
Bokassa I
Bokassa colored.png 4 December 1976[D] 21 September 1979[7] MESAN Bokassa spent approximately US$20 million—one third of the country's annual budget—on his coronation ceremony on 4 December 1977.[8]
Central African Republic
French: République centrafricaine
Sango: Ködörösêse tî Bêafrîka
David Dacko
David Dacko 1962 crop.jpg 21 September 1979[E] 1 September 1981[9] MESAN This was Dacko's second time as president of the Central African Republic. In February 1980, Dacko established the Central African Democratic Union (UDC) as the country's only political party.[10]
André Kolingba
Chairman of the Military Committee of National Recovery
No image.png 1 September 1981[F] 21 September 1985[G] Military Kolingba seized power from Dacko in a successful coup d'état. Ange-Félix Patassé, with the assistance of François Bozizé, launched an unsuccessful coup d'état against the Kolingba government on 3 March 1982.[11]
André Kolingba
President and Head of State
21 September 1985 21 November 1986 Kolingba established the Central African Democratic Rally (RDC) as the country's only party in May 1986.[12]
André Kolingba
21 November 1986[H] 22 October 1993  
Ange-Félix Patassé
No image.png 22 October 1993[I][13] 15 March 2003 MLPC Bozizé launched an unsuccessful coup d'état against the Patassé government on 28 May 2001.[14]
François Bozizé
Bozize.jpg 15 March 2003[J][15] 24 March 2013 Military Bozizé seized power from Patassé in a successful coup d'état. Shortly after, he appointed Abel Goumba as Prime Minister. Goumba had served as acting Prime Minister in 1959, before being overthrown by Dacko.[16]
Michel Djotodia
No image.png 24 March 2013[K] 18 August 2013 Military Djotodia was the leader of the Séléka rebel coalition in the ongoing civil war.
Michel Djotodia
Head of State of the Transition
18 August 2013 10 January 2014[L]
Alexandre-Ferdinand Nguendet
Acting Head of State of the Transition
Alexandre Ferdinand Nguendet VOA.jpg 10 January 2014 23 January 2014 RPR Nguendet succeeded Djotodia after his resignation due to the continued conflict.
Catherine Samba-Panza
Head of State of the Transition
Catherine Samba-Panza 2014-09-26.jpg 23 January 2014 30 March 2016 Independent Samba-Panza became the first female head of state of the Central African Republic.
Faustin-Archange Touadéra
Faustin Touadera.jpg 30 March 2016 Incumbent Independent Previously, Touadéra served as Prime Minister under Bozizé from 2008 until 2013.


  • A Dacko became the official President of the Central African Republic after defeating Abel Goumba in an internal power struggle. Dacko had support from the French government.
  • B Bokassa seized power by staging a coup d'état from 31 December 1965 until 1 January 1966. Bokassa forced Dacko to officially resign from the presidency at 03:20 WAT (02:20 UTC) on 1 January.[5]
  • C Bokassa staged a military coup against the Dacko government on 31 December 1965 – 1 January 1966. After becoming president, Bokassa took control of MESAN and imposed one-party rule under MESAN.
  • D Bokassa, then-President for Life of the Central African Republic, instituted a new constitution at the session of the MESAN congress and declared the republic a monarchy, the Central African Empire (CAE). Bokassa became the emperor of the CAE as "Bokassa I".[6]
  • E By 1979, French support for Bokassa had all but eroded after the government's brutal suppression of rioting in Bangui and massacre of schoolchildren who had protested against wearing the expensive, government-required school uniforms. Dacko, who was Bokassa's personal adviser at the time, managed to leave for Paris where the French convinced him to cooperate in a coup to remove Bokassa from power and restore him to the presidency. The French successfully executed Operation Barracuda on 20–21 September 1979 and installed Dacko as president.[17][18]
  • F General Kolingba (who was also the armed forces chief of staff) overthrew Dacko from the presidency in a bloodless coup.[12]
  • G On 21 September 1985, Kolingba dissolved the Military Committee for National Recovery,[19] and created the positions of Head of State and President.[20]
  • H A constitution was adopted by a referendum on 21 November 1986 and Kolingba was elected to a six-year term in office.[7][12]
  • I The country held a multiparty presidential election on 22 August and 19 September 1993. Patassé was the candidate from the Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People party and ran on the platform that he would pay the previously withheld salaries to soldiers and civil servants.[21] Patassé defeated Dacko, Kolingba, Bozizé and Abel Goumba to win the election.[22]
  • J Bozizé's second coup attempt was successful; he seized power in Bangui on 15 March 2003.[23]
  • K Djotodia ousted Bozizé in the 2012–13 conflict; he seized power in Bangui on 24 March 2013.[24][25]
  • L Under pressure from other central African heads of state gathered for a crisis summit on the situation in CAR, Djotodia resigned in N'Djamena, Chad on 10 January 2014.[26]

Latest election[edit]

Candidate Party First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Anicet-Georges Dologuélé Union for Central African Renewal 268,952 23.74 413,352 37.29
Faustin-Archange Touadéra Independent 215,800 19.05 695,059 62.71
Désiré Kolingba Central African Democratic Rally 136,398 12.04
Martin Ziguélé Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People 129,474 11.43
Jean-Serge Bokassa 68,705 6.06
Charles-Armel Doubane Independent 41,095 3.63
Jean-Michel Mandaba Party for Democratic Governance 35,458 3.13
Sylvain Patassé-Ngakoutou Central African New Momentum 31,261 2.76
Abdou Karim Meckassoua Independent 31,052 2.74
Gaston Mandata Nguérékata Party for Central African Renewal 22,391 1.98
Jean-Barkès Ngombe-Ketté Independent 18,949 1.67
Timoléon Baikoua Independent 17,195 1.52
Fidèle Gouandjika Independent 15,356 1.36
Théodore Kapou Independent 13,295 1.17
Marcel Dimassé 8,791 0.78
Guy Moskit National Solidarity Movement 8,712 0.77
Jean Willybiro-Sako Independent 8,535 0.75
Émile Gros Raymond Nakombo 8,001 0.71
Régina Konzi-Mongot Independent 6,684 0.59
Xavier Sylvestre Yangongo Independent 6,512 0.57
Cyriaque Gonda National Party for a New Central Africa 6,440 0.57
Laurent Gomina-Pampali National Union for Democracy and Rally 5,834 0.51
Constant Gouyomgbia Kongba Zézé Independent 5,560 0.49
Joseph Yakété 5,547 0.49
Mathias Barthélemy Morouba Independent 5,156 0.46
Théophile Sony Colé Syndical Union of Central African Workers 3,784 0.33
Maxime Kazagui Alliance for a New Central Africa 2,886 0.25
Jean-Baptiste Koba 2,010 0.18
Stanislas Moussa Kembé 1,706 0.15
Olivier Gabirault Independent 1,347 0.12
Invalid/blank votes 89,370 24,094
Total 1,132,886 100 1,153,300 100
Registered voters/turnout 1,954,433 62.54 1,954,433 59.01
Source: Afrique News Info, ANERCA

See also[edit]


  • Appiah, K. Anthony; Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., eds. (1999), Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience, New York City: Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-00071-1.
  • Kalck, Pierre (2005), Historical Dictionary of the Central African Republic (3rd English ed.), Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, ISBN 0-8108-4913-5.
  • Marsden, Hilary, ed. (1988), Whitaker's Almanack, 1988, London: J Whitaker and Sons, ISBN 0-85021-178-6.
  • Titley, Brian (1997), Dark Age: The Political Odyssey of Emperor Bokassa, Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, ISBN 0-7735-1602-6, OCLC 36340842.
  1. ^ "Salaire des chefs d'Etat africains : Macky Sall parmi les Présidents les plus mal payés..." Dakarbuzz. 8 August 2017.
  2. ^ Kalck 2005, p. xxxii
  3. ^ Kalck 2005, p. 198
  4. ^ Kalck 2005, p. xxxi
  5. ^ a b Titley 1997, p. 28
  6. ^ a b Kalck 2005, p. xxxiv
  7. ^ a b Kalck 2005, p. 199
  8. ^ Carlson, Peter (19 May 2007), "His Diplomatic Coup: Getting Them on the Record", The Washington Post, retrieved 8 June 2008
  9. ^ Kalck 2005, p. xxxix
  10. ^ Kalck 2005, p. 54
  11. ^ Kalck 2005, p. 155
  12. ^ a b c Kalck 2005, p. 113
  13. ^ The World Factbook 2002, Directorate of Intelligence, 2002, ISBN 0-16-067601-0, archived from the original on 18 June 2008
  14. ^ "Situation "confused" after apparent coup attempt", IRIN, 28 May 2001, retrieved 8 June 2008
  15. ^ Kalck 2005, p. lxxiii
  16. ^ "Bozize appoints prime minister", IRIN, 24 March 2003, retrieved 8 June 2008
  17. ^ Titley 1997, p. 127
  18. ^ Kalck 2005, p. lxix
  19. ^ Marsden 1988, p. 810
  20. ^ Kalck 2005, p. 48
  21. ^ Appiah & Gates 1999, p. 399
  22. ^ Kalck 2005, p. xlviii
  23. ^ "Rebel leader seizes power, suspends constitution", IRIN, 17 March 2003, retrieved 8 June 2008
  24. ^ "Centrafrique: Michel Djotodia déclare être le nouveau président de la république centrafricaine" (in French). Radio France International. 24 March 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  25. ^ Madjiasra Nako; Bate Felix (18 April 2013). "Regional leaders recognise C.African Republic rebel chief". Reuters. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  26. ^ "CAR interim President Michel Djotodia resigns". BBC News. 10 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014.

External links[edit]