The Central African Republic’s top court on Friday annulled presidential decrees setting up a committee to rewrite the constitution, which had sparked fears Faustin Archange Touadera was seeking a third term in office. In a legal setback for the president, the Constitutional Court declared that the decrees “are unconstitutional and invalid” and noted the basic law could only be revised after a Senate has been set up. The 65-year-old president was first elected in 2016, then re-elected in a highly controversial poll in 2020, but the current constitution does not allow him to run again. The court also said that any referendum on revising the constitution had to be initiated by the president but that he could not go against the oath he’d taken at his investiture to refrain from modifying the number and length of his mandates. Opposition and civil society groups on August 27 staged a protest in the capital Bangui against changing the constitution. Early Friday, a heavy police presence and members of the UN peacekeeping force in the war-torn country were posted along the road leading to the court, according to an AFP journalist. CAR authorities had in recent months organised demonstrations in favour of a revamped constitution, with more than 1,000 people turning out for such a gathering on August 6. Less than a week later, Touadara said that “more and more voices are being raised to demand a modification of the constitution”.