8 candidates to face off in C. African Republic

Associated Press
FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 file photo, French soldiers protect a truck of fleeing Muslims after it broke down and was surrounded by hundreds of hostile Christian residents, including several anti-balaka militiamen, in the Gobongo neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic. Central African Republic has long teetered on the brink of anarchy, but the new unrest unleashed by a March 2013 coup has ignited previously unseen sectarian hatred between Christians and Muslims. More than 1,000 people were killed in December alone and nearly 1 million displaced. The crisis has forced some to flee across borders to desperately poor and unstable countries like Chad and Congo. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)
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FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 file photo, French soldiers protect a truck of fleeing Muslims after it broke down and was surrounded by hundreds of hostile Christian residents, including several anti-balaka militiamen, in the Gobongo neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic. Central African Republic has long teetered on the brink of anarchy, but the new unrest unleashed by a March 2013 coup has ignited previously unseen sectarian hatred between Christians and Muslims. More than 1,000 people were killed in December alone and nearly 1 million displaced. The crisis has forced some to flee across borders to desperately poor and unstable countries like Chad and Congo. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — The sons of two former leaders are on a new list of eight candidates vying to become interim president of Central African Republic.

The National Transitional Council is to meet Monday to choose the person tasked with preparing the violence-wracked country for elections later this year.

Eight candidates were found eligible Sunday from 24. They include two sons of former presidents: Sylvain Patasse and Desire Zanga-Kolingba.

The current mayor of Bangui, Catherine Samba-Panza, is also in the running.

Central African Republic has a history of coups and dictatorship, and there are already doubts elections can be held this year.

More than 1,000 people have died since December alone and nearly 1 million have been forced from their homes since a rebel leader backed by Muslim insurgents seized power last year.

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