DR Congo: Kabila's supporters support postponed polls

Holding elections this year in the restive Kasai provinces would be dangerous, say supporters of the president 

DR Congo: Kabila's supporters support postponed polls

World Bulletin / News Desk

The supporters of Democratic Republic of Congo’s president are speaking out in favor of a controversial announcement that presidential polls due to be held by this December may be postponed.

Corneille Nangaa, head of the central African nation’s electoral commission, said on Sunday that it might not be possible to hold presidential elections this year despite a deal to do so.

Andre Alain Atundu, a spokesman for President Joseph Kabila’s presidential majority, said late Monday in a statement that Nangaa’s statement reflects the reality on the ground.

"It would be dangerous to say that the elections would be held on the date agreed on in the agreement, especially since two provinces cannot be excluded from the process,” he added, referring to the restive provinces of Eastern and Western Kasai.

James Leku, who chairs the president’s supporters in the eastern part of the country, said on Tuesday that it would not make sense for elections to take place when the Kasai provinces are still rocked by chaos.

When Kabila's term in office expired last December, he refused to hold elections, saying that the majority of Congolese, especially young people, had not registered to vote.

Dozens of people were killed in riots that erupted over Kabila's decision. In Catholic bishop-brokered peace talks between the opposition and government, it was agreed that Kabila would stay in power and elections be held by the end of this year.

Kasai is the stronghold of the Kamwina Nsapu militia. Violence between the militia and security forces worsened in August 2016 after government troops killed the group’s leader.

As of late April, more than 400 people had been killed in fighting between Congolese security forces and militiamen, according to the UN.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Temmuz 2017, 17:23
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