AFRICA/DR CONGO - The Electoral Commission announces the postponement of the presidential and legislative elections to 2018

Monday, 3 October 2016 politics   elections   bishops  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - Presidential and legislative elections in November 2018. This is what was announced by the President of the Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), Corneille Naanga, to the participants in the national dialogue aimed at finding a solution to the political crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Naanga said that CENI needs 504 days starting from July 31, 2017 to organize the presidential and legislative, national and provincial elections.
The opposition criticized the length of time requested by CENI stating that in past elections it took 5-6 months to organize the polls. CENI is accused of not being impartial.
Postponing the presidential and legislative elections will allow Kabila to remain in power, on the basis of a contested decision of the Constitutional Court which ruled that in the case of postponement of the elections the outgoing Head of State remains in office until the election of his successor (see Fides 25/05/2016).
The opposition fears that during this period Kabila will manage to change the constitution to allow him to stand for election for a third term.
As tension rises between the majority and the opposition, the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENI) published a message entitled "I will not be silent for the DRC" in which the parties are urged to "carry out gestures that unblock the situation". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 03/10/2016)