C. African Republic Starts Process to Pick Leader

A transitional council met on Tuesday.

Posted: 01/14/2014 06:05 PM EST

Alexandre Nguendet, president of the National Transition Council. (Photo: AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — Officials in the beleaguered country of Central African Republic are starting the process of choosing a new interim president to lead the country out of chaos.

A meeting of the national transitional council got under way Tuesday and its 135 members are expected to select a new leader by the end of next week.

The move comes after rebel leader-turned-president Michel Djotodia stepped aside Friday after 10 months in power along with his prime minister.

Djotodia had faced mounting international criticism as the country deteriorated under his watch into a state of near-anarchy where Christians and Muslims were attacking each other with machetes in the streets.

Officials said that the national transitional council would be meeting Tuesday afternoon to decide on a timeframe for accepting candidates' applications.

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