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Congo opposition fumes over delay in presidential election

Oct 17, 2016, 6:38 AM EDT
Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila
(Source: MONUSCO Photos/flickr)

The governing coalition and other small parties in Democratic Republic of Congo decided to push back next month’s elections to April 2018, a move that many opposition groups called President Joseph Kabila’s attempt to hold on to power beyond his term. The announcement came after a cross-party discussion, which was boycotted by the main opposition party, saying that the dialogue was unfair and lacked transparency.

Earlier this month, election commission president Corneille Nangaa said that the election authorities were facing logistical challenges, as a result of which they require more time to complete voter registration, writes Al Jazeera.

The constitution of the country bars Kabila from seeking a third term after his tenure ends in December, reports The Guardian. Kabila, who has said that he will respect the constitution, has not ruled out the prospects of amending the laws to run the next power-sharing government with the opposition party the Union for the Congolese Nation.

Congo’s main opposition bloc called for a general strike on Wednesday, demanding Kabila to step down immediately at the end of his mandate, notes Deutsche Welle. Dozens of people died after violent protests erupted last month in the capital Kinshasa over repeated delays in holding new elections.