October 18, 2016

France Warns of Violent Demos As DRC Extends Presidential Poll

France Warns of Violent Demos As DRC Extends Presidential Poll


France’s foreign minister has criticised the decision to postpone the presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo from November this year to 2018, the Reuters news agency is reporting.

The measure was approved by the country’s constitutional court on Monday.

Joseph Kabila took over after his father was assassinated in 2001, before being elected in 2006 and 2011 ©Junior Kannah (AFP/File)
Joseph Kabila took over after his father was assassinated in 2001, before being elected in 2006 and 2011 ©Junior Kannah (AFP/File)

 

Critics have seen the delay as a way to keep President Joseph Kabila in power – he was supposed to step down by December, when his second term comes to an end.

The electoral commission says it needs more time to create an up-to-date electoral list.

Reuters quotes French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault as saying:

“There is only one way to get out of the crisis and that is that the president does not present himself and arranges elections.”

He added, “Pushing back the election to an uncertain date in 2018 is not the solution. There is a risk of violent demonstrations and repression.”
BBC
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