All eyes on Kabila as DRC election deadline looms

A church-backed group called the Lay Coordination Committee (CLC) and a pro-democracy group, Lucha, have called for protests across the country if Kabila says he will go for a third mandate. 

All eyes on Kabila as DRC election deadline looms

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Democratic Republic of Congo was braced Wednesday for President Joseph Kabila to announce either a successor, or his own candidacy for elections in breach of a two-term limit.

In central Africa, Angola is the only country wherein 2016 a ruling president, Jose Eduardo do Santos, chose a successor, enabling a peaceful transfer of power after 38-years. 

Kabila's ruling coalition, the Common Front for Congo (FCC), has officially until 1530 GMT to submit the name of their candidate to the electoral commission.

Eight candidates including at least three from the opposition have already submitted their names.

On Tuesday, members of the FCC were summoned to Kabila’s farm in Kingakati, outside Kinshasa, to discuss potential candidates for the December 23 vote.

Among the possible contenders are former prime minister Augustin Matata Ponyo, 54; chief of staff to the president Nehemie Mwilanya Wilonga, 50; and speaker of the National Assembly Aubin Minaku, 53.  

Some fear Kabila, 47, could argue he has completed only one term in office because the constitution was changed since he became president that therefore he is eligible to run again. 

"If he does, the implications for whether or not the elections should go forward are very significant", said Stephanie Wolters, Johannesburg-based analyst at ISS Africa. 

"And if he doesn’t, if he chooses a successor, it’s substantial progress for the process although of course not the end of the concerns that people generally have (about) the credibility of the elections".

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Ağustos 2018, 11:29