BACKTRACKING ON ELECTIONS? DRC President Joseph Kabila

The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) announced in Kinshasa that it was impossible to organize elections this year in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“It is impossible to organize the elections in 2017,” the President of the election supervising body, Corneille Nangaa said during a meeting with a delegation of the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF).

However, he promised to assess the situation with the Government and the National Follow-up Council of the Political Agreement (CNSA), before making any ‘extension decision’.

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The political agreement signed on December 31, 2016 between the Government and the Opposition, under the mediation of the country’s Catholic bishops stipulated that the national and provincial, presidential and legislative elections should be organized ‘before the end of 2017’.

DRC President Joseph Kabila is under pressure to relinquish power after his term of office expired late last year.

He however, held on to power, promising to organize elections this year and step down next year.

But in a June interview with German weekly Del Spiegel in Berlin Kabila ‘swallowed’ his words and said he ‘never promised anything’, in regard to holding elections and his stepping down.

And, in February this year his budget Minister Pierre Kangudia had said the DRC could not raise the US$1.8 billion needed to conduct elections in Africa’s second biggest country, which has a population of about 70 million people.

 

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