The Democratic Republic of Congo announced Sunday that much delayed elections to replace President Joseph Kabila would take place in December 2018, but the opposition demanded the longtime leader step down sooner. Elections were due to take place this year under a deal whereby Kabila would leave office but repeated wrangling has hobbled the process.
The election commission said “direct voting” will take place on December 23, 2018, covering presidential, legislative, regional and local elections, said Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) official Jean-Pierre Kalamba.
But the Congolese opposition said the time frame was not acceptable, insisting that Kabila quits by the end of this year. “We reject the (CENI) calendar… what interests us right now is the departure of Kabila by December 31, 2017,” said Augustin Kabuya, spokesman for the main opposition Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS).—APP