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DR Congo poll body says elections ‘not possible’ before December

 

DRC president Kabila

Paris, France | AFP | Long-overdue presidential and legislative polls can only be held at the end of year in troubled Democratic Republic of Congo, the head of the national election commission said Friday.

“It will not be possible before December,” Corneille Nangaa told reporters in Kinshasa.

Elections are due this year under a transitional deal aimed at avoiding fresh political violence in the sprawling country of 71 million people after long serving President Joseph Kabila failed to step down when his mandate ended last December.

Under the deal, Kabila was allowed to remain in office pending the elections, ruling in tandem with a transitional watchdog and a new premier, to be chosen within opposition ranks.

Kabila, 46, has been in power since 2001 and under the constitution does not have the right to run again.

In June, Kabila said he had never “promised anything” about whether to hold elections, seeming to back away from the deal brokered by the influential Catholic church last year.

“I have not promised anything at all,” Kabila told the German weekly Der Spiegel in a rare media interview. “I wish to organise elections as soon as possible”.

“We want perfect elections, not just elections,” he said, adding that the government was in the process of registering voters and that it was “going well”.

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