DRC high court orders new look at election timetable

2015-09-09 11:46

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

Kinshasa - Democratic Republic of Congo's highest court on Tuesday told election authorities to take a fresh look at the country's voting timetable, raising the prospect of a delay that would enable President Joseph Kabila to stay in office beyond 2016.

The court ordered the national election commission to re-evaluate its calendar, saying that budgetary and political constraints have made it untenable.

Critics say Kabila intends to hold on beyond the election set for November 2016, when he is due to step down, and delay the first peaceful handover of power in a country whose eastern regions have endured years of conflict.

At least 40 people were killed in January in protests over a plan to revise the electoral code. Kabila has ruled Congo since his father's assassination in 2001, and won disputed elections in 2006 and 2011.

Analysts say the 2016 timetable for more than a dozen local, provincial and national elections is in jeopardy due to its $1.1bn price tag and difficulties establishing 21 new provinces created in July as part of a decentralisation initiative.

The court said this process, in which the new provinces have yet to establish executive committees, has created "anarchy" in the absence of viable local governance.

The court "orders the National Independent Electoral Commission to evaluate, in complete independence and impartiality, the entire electoral process," its president, Luamba Bindu, said from the bench.

Governors must be in place before polls for new provincial assemblies, now set for October 25 this year, can occur, he said. A postponement of that vote could delay the whole timetable.

The court also ordered the government to take "exceptional transitional measures" to restore order and security in the new provinces and accelerate the elections.

That order could be interpreted as allowing the government to appoint interim governors, but government spokesman Lambert Mende said it was too early to say how Kabila might respond.

Kabila's opponents say they suspect that by naming governors he can install loyalists to help him stay in office.

Kabila has refused to comment on his political future, though Mende says he will respect the constitution.

Read more on:    joseph kabila  |  drc  |  central africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

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
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.