Step aside, US envoy tells DRC leader Kabila

2014-06-06 08:44
President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Joseph Kabila listens to proceedings during the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in Kampala. (AFP)

President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Joseph Kabila listens to proceedings during the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in Kampala. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kinshasa - The top US envoy to Africa's Great Lakes region called on Thursday for Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila to respect a constitutional term limit and step aside when the country organises polls in 2016.

Several African leaders have sought to extend their rule by amending their constitutions, and speculation is growing that Kabila may seek a third term despite a two-term limit stipulated in Article 220 of DRC’s national charter.

The president, who came to power after the 2003 murder of his father president Laurent Kabila and won his first elected term in a 2006 election, has not revealed his intentions. Government officials deny he plans to alter the constitution.

"Our strong advice is that there is a global election calendar with the presidential elections no later than the end of 2016, and [that there should be] no attempt to disregard the unamendable stipulation of article 220," US special envoy Russ Feingold told a news conference in the capital Kinshasa.

His comments echoed those of US Secretary of State John Kerry during a visit to DRC last month and came at the end of a regional tour with special envoys from the European Union, African Union and the United Nations.

Heavy criticism

Last month DRC's elections commission published details of local, municipal and urban elections which are due to take place in the second half of 2015, but a programme for a presidential vote is still pending.

"The local elections are expensive but are not required by the constitution," said Feingold. "Organising and financing these, but not the [presidential] elections, which are required by the constitution, is not a believable approach."

Feingold said holding elections was crucial for the continued development of DRC, a vast and disordered Central African nation where millions have been killed in various internal wars since the late 1990s, but has seen strong growth in recent years, particularly in its mining sector.

Kabila's win in the 2011 presidential election came under heavy criticism following reports of ballot-stuffing and violent intimidation of political opponents.

During his visit last month, Kerry pledged $30 million in U.S. aid to support elections as well as to finance recovery and reconstruction programs in Congo's conflict-ridden east. But a US official said Washington reserved the right to withhold funds if the elections process was not transparent and credible.
Read more on:    john kerry  |  joseph kabila  |  drc  |  us  |  central africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Paarl

Houses R 2 690 000

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Hermanus

Houses R 2 680 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.