Party names ex-warlord Bemba candidate for DRC presidential poll

2018-07-13 21:32
 Former Congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba sits in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. (File, AFP)

Former Congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba sits in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. (File, AFP)

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

The former vice president of Democratic Republic of Congo Jean-Pierre Bemba, who was acquitted last month of war crimes, was on Friday named by his party as a candidate in presidential polls planned for December.

"We unanimously decided to renew Senator Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo as national president of the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo for a five-year term and to name him as our candidate for the presidential election of December 23, 2018," said the party's Jean Jacques Mamba.

Earlier this week the DRC said Bemba could apply for a diplomatic passport to return home after he was acquitted of war crimes in The Hague.

The DRC is in the grip of a crisis over the future of President Joseph Kabila, who has ruled the country since 2001 and has remained in office, despite a two-term constitutional limit that expired in December 2016.

He has remained in power under a constitutional clause that enables a president to stay in office until his or her successor is elected.

Bemba's party named him as their candidate at a congress in Kinshasa.

On June 8, judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC), overturned a 2016 conviction against Bemba for five counts of war crimes committed by his militia in the Central African Republic in 2002-2003.

They said he could not be held criminally liable for atrocities they committed, which included murder, rape and looting, as he was unable to influence their conduct.

He had been given an 18-year term, the longest ever to be handed down by the court.

Bemba was earlier this week known to be in Belgium having gained an interim release from the court.

The ICC is due to issue a ruling in a separate case in which he was sentenced to a one-year in jail and fined $350 000 in 2017 for bribing witnesses during his main war crimes trial.

However, he has already spent a decade behind bars, and legal experts expect him to be released definitively if this time is taken into account.

It remains unclear whether he faces any threat of prosecution if he sets foot on DRC soil, after authorities issued a warrant in 2007 against him over the violence and for alleged arson at the Supreme Court.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

How your dog can tell what you’re feeling

Researchers have found a specific area in a dog’s brain that recognises human faces – a finding that may help to explain why dogs are so sensitive to human social cues.

 

Paws

Share your 67 minutes with animals in need this Mandela Day
Kevin Anderson’s dog is winning at Instagram!
Kim Kardashian-West buys fake testicles to boost her dog’s self-esteem
10 tips on exercising your dog
Traffic Alerts
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.