AFRICA/DR CONGO - The majority and a part of the opposition agree: presidential elections in April 2018

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 politics   elections  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - There is no date for the presidential and political elections, but some intermediate election dates for the start of the electoral process, in the meantime a government of national unity led by an opposition Premier will be created, while incumbent President Joseph Kabila will remain in office after the expiry of his mandate, December 19, until a new Head of State is elected. These are the salient points of the agreement reached by the presidential majority and by a part of the opposition that participated in the national dialogue.
The agreement highlights that 30 October 2017 is the deadline for the presentation of candidates, while the election must be organized within six months, ie by April 2018.
Once all parties have signed the agreement, the government of national unity will be formed within 21 days, while a support committee consisting of seven members of the majority, seven opposition and three from civil society will gather within a month.
Members of the majority stressed that President Kabila intends to respect the Constitution "from the first to the last article", suggesting that he will not present himself in the elections for a third term, which is prohibited by the Constitution.
"Le Rassemblement", the group of opposition parties who support candidate Etienne Tshisekedi did not participate in the agreement reached yesterday, 17 October, while the Congolese Bishops had abandoned national dialogue "to seek broader consensus" (see Fides 21/09/2016). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 18/10/2016)