The head of Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral commission says it is not possible to organize presidential elections by the end of this year, with some pro Kabila officials calling for the elections to be banned outright to save move for development of the country.
The move goes against a political agreement with the opposition, which has accused President Joseph Kabila of clinging to power.
The president of the National Independent Electoral Commission, Corneille Nangaa, made the announcement in Friday in Paris.
The election has been delayed since last year, and Kabila’s mandate ended in mid-December.
Protests that left dozens of people dead helped to push the government and opposition into a December 31 deal that calls for the vote to be held this year – without Kabila as a candidate.
Nangaa said any decision on extending the electoral time-frame would be evaluated with the National Council, civil society and other groups involved in the political agreement. The United Nations and others have expressed concern about the deal’s implementation.
It should be noted that last month former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and nine former African presidents warned of an “acute political crisis” in DRC that threatens both the vast, mineral-rich Central African nation and the continent at large. DRC’s government has said vote preparations need more time.
Kabila came to power after the 2001 assassination of his father, former President Laurent Kabila.