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African heads of state decided Wednesday that it was impossible to recognise rebel chief Michel Djotodia as president of the Central African Republic (CAR), and want the country to elect a transitional president, Chad's leader said at the end of a summit called to discuss the political crisis.
"As things stand now, it is impossible to recognise a self-proclaimed president," Chadian President Idriss Deby told journalists. "A committee selected by national figures must lead the transition. This body will have the executive role and must vote for a transitional president" who would serve for no more than 18 months.
Deby added that a legislative body would also be established in Chad's southern neighbour "which will draw up a constitution and take on the role of parliament".
Starting Thursday, a mission comprised of ministers from the Economic Community Of Central African States (ECCAS), its partners and representatives from the African Union, the European Union and the international organisation of French-speaking states will go to the Central African capital Bangui "to take the message to Central Africans", Deby said.
Chad, the region's dominant military power, hosted a meeting of the ECCAS, according to some sources as a way to give the rebel Seleka coalition regime in Central Africa a semblance of legitimacy.
A diplomatic source said the six-nation bloc sought to create a national transition council led by Djotodia to "regain a little international legitimacy".
Djotodia has promised elections by 2016, but the international community is expected to press him to accelerate the transition.
The Seleka coalition seized power in Bangui 10 days ago when it overthrew president Francois Bozize.