The long-delayed elections in Democratic Republic of Congo to replace President Joseph Kabila cannot take place until at least April 2019, the electoral commission said, a schedule certain to enrage opponents who say Kabila is clinging to power.
The electoral commission added that they need 504 days to organize elections after resgistration is completed.
Officials say what is more important is not the timing but then that the elections be held in a fair, inclusive and credible manner, rushing the elections will be counter productive and that the situation in the country is not condusive for elections to hold.
According to the commissions president, Corneille Nangaa, the commission has to embark on teaching voters how to the use voting machines.
Initially elections were supposed to take place before the end of last year. But the government said elections could not take place because most people had not registered.
This led to nationwide riots which caused Catholic Bishops in the country to hold talks between the government and the opposition coalition. Both had endorsed the Dec. 31, 2016 agreement which stated that voter registration would be completed and elections held before the end of the year.
Now, more than 40 million people have registered to vote since mid September.
While addressing the United Nations General Assembly this September 2017, President Kabila promised an election before the end of the year… “We are most certainly moving towards credible, transparent and peaceful elections… this should be taking place without external dictates or interference… To the “true friends” of my country I ask you to provide support for the electoral process in my country…”
The UN’s envoy to DRC says 123 million needed for the elections to hold but only 6% has been met.
The situation in DRC is indeed a complex one, one wonders what lies in the days ahead, for this Central African nation which has been plagued by instability for quite sometime.