DRC’s presidential election to be postponed till 2018

President Joseph Kabila

The president of Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral commission has said that he expects the presidential election, originally scheduled for this November, to be delayed until December 2018.

President Joseph Kabila has been accused of deliberately delaying the poll to cling to power.

Kabila denies he is behind the delays, which he says are due to logistical and budgetary constraints.

Commission president Corneille Nangaa told delegates at ongoing multi-party talks that the commission would finish updating the voter registry on July 31, 2017 and require an additional 504 days to organise the vote, several people present at the closed door meeting said.

A national deputy and the minister of parliamentary relations confirmed Nangaa’s remarks on Twitter.

The talks are meant to reach a consensus among Kabila’s allies, opponents and civil society on the election date.

However, most major opposition parties are boycotting the talks, which they say are intended to provide a pretext for Kabila to stay in office.

Kabila, who took office in 2001 after the assassination of his father Laurent Kabila, is required by constitutional term limits to step down in December.