DRC Senate votes down measure

2015-01-23 17:28
Police try to clear a main road as anti government protesters burn tyres during a protest against a new law that could delay elections to be held in the city of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. (John Bompengo, AP)

Police try to clear a main road as anti government protesters burn tyres during a protest against a new law that could delay elections to be held in the city of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. (John Bompengo, AP)

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Kinshasa - Congo's Senate has eliminated a measure in an electoral law that critics say would have prolonged the president's time in power and drew massive protests this week.

The country's lower house voted last week to require a census before next year's presidential elections, prompting demonstrations over concerns that it was merely a ploy to delay that vote. More than 13 people have died and dozens have been injured in the unrest, according to the United Nations. Rights groups put that figure far higher.

The Senate vote on Friday removed the requirement for a new census before the vote. The capital, Kinshasa, which has seen the bulk of the protests as well as looting, was calm.

Uncertainty remains, though, because a commission must now approve the changes made by the Senate.

Read more on:    drc  |  central africa

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