Central African Republic's National Electoral Authority has released partial results showing a high voter turnout and shifting front-running candidates.

The authority said Tuesday that with about 53 percent of the votes counted, two former prime ministers have swapped first and second place. It said Faustin Archange Touadera, prime minister until 2013, had shifted from first to second place, while Anicet Georges Dologuele, another ex-prime minister, climbed to first place.

It said participation rate at this stage was measured at about 72 percent.

Nearly 2 million people had registered to vote in the Dec. 30 national elections meant to bring stability to the country after years of sectarian violence.

If no candidate wins more than 50 percent, the two front-runners will compete in a second round on Jan. 31.