Deal to end crisis in DRC: the main points

2016-12-23 16:00
Joseph Kabila. (File: AFP)

Joseph Kabila. (File: AFP)

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Kinshasa - The government and opposition in Democratic Republic of Congo agreed late on Thursday on a draft deal to end a crisis sparked by President Joseph Kabila's decision to remain in office past the end of his mandate.

A team of legal experts from the two sides is studying the document, under the aegis of the DRC National Episcopal Conference.

It was set to be adopted at a plenary session on Friday morning, to be followed by an official signing later in the day.

However, sources say "complications" are holding up a final agreement.

AFP has seen the draft document. Here are the main points:

Political transition

The deal envisages a transitional government in which Kabila remains in office until he hands over to his elected successor.

The opposition has dropped its demand that Kabila step down immediately.

In return, a "National Transitional Council" would be created to oversee the implementation of the accord, particularly on electoral issues.

Presidential elections

The elections which should have taken place this year will be held "at the end of 2017".

This responds to one of the main opposition demands. The government had said previously it cannot hold elections until April 2018.

Respect for the constitution

The opposition, which suspected Kabila was seeking to stay in office indefinitely, wants a guarantee that the president will not try to circumvent the constitutional ban on him remaining.

These guarantees are codified in two sentences:

"In accordance with his address to the nation through Congress, the President of the Republic, who has completed two terms, will not seek a third" term.

In a speech in November, Kabila promised that the constitution would not be violated.

"The parties undertake not to resort to a referendum or any other means of modification or change to the constitution during the transitional period," the draft deal says.

Read more on:    joseph kabila  |  drc  |  central africa

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