Monday, October 17, 2016

Some DRC opposition leaders, ruling party agree to April 2018 elections

Outgoing Democratic Republic of Congo president Joseph Kabila will remain in office till April 2018 while a member of the opposition takes the position of Prime Minister.
This forms part of the agreement signed by the ruling party and some opposition parties at the end of talks early Sunday dawn as part of the national dialogue.

Parties to the dialogue compromised on the April 2018 election date proposed by the country’s electoral commission and the filing of candidacy is scheduled for October 2017, local media report.
“These compromises were made to give this accord the best chance of being fully implemented,” Jean Baudouin Mayo, leader of opposition party UNC told Top Congo FM.

The main opposition coalition led by √Čtienne Tshisekedi was absent during the dialogue but rejected the compromise. “This does not represent the inclusive desire of the Congolese people. It is a non-event,” Martin Mukonkole of the absent opposition coalition and leader of the UDA party said.

President of the New Congolese Civil Society, Tshombela Jonas, is reported to have expressed concern about the agreement saying there will be challenges because it was not inclusive.
The agreement is reported to have been signed under the watch of the African Union-appointed facilitator Edem Kodjo at the Congo River Hotel.

DRC is facing a lot of criticisms and sanctions after the electoral commission postponed the country’s election date from December 20 to the end of 2018 due to “logistical constraints”.
A court earlier this year ruled that if the country fails to organize elections later this year, Kabila could stay on as president. These events have created a lot of friction in the country.

Belgium has already limited the visa duration to be granted diplomatic officials from the country to six months and the United States has adopted financial sanctions against two senior military officials close to Joseph Kabila.

28 European Union countries are requesting to sanction some individuals who oppose to early elections.



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