DRC: Kabila aide says says president won’t stand in elections

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Joseph Kabila’s aide says the Democratic Republic of Congo president won’t stand in this year’s scheduled election.

Speculation has been growing that Kabila, who refused to step down at the end of his mandate in December 2016, is attempting to seek a third term in power. However, aide Lambert Mende insists the president won’t stand in the country’s delayed election.

DRC a ‘democratic republic’

Lambert Mende, the DRC’s minister of communications, says claims that Kabila is deliberately delaying elections in order to push for constitutional changes that would allow him to run for a third term are false.

“This is not a kingdom, where the king appoints an heir. It is a democratic republic,” he told the Guardian on Wednesday.

The DRC’s constitution limits presidents to serving a maximum of two terms in change and Kabila’s second spell as the country’s leader came to an end in December 2016. However, Kabila refused to step down on the grounds that the country couldn’t afford to hold an election.

His refusal to step down sparked protests across the country and accusations of a power grab. Security forces killed seven people during demonstrations in Kinshasa on December 31.

Featured image: “Le Président de la République, Joseph Kabila, a pris la parole hier jeudi 25 septembre, à la 69e assemblée générale de l’Onu qui s’est tenue à New-York” flickr photo by MONUSCO https://flickr.com/photos/monusco/15334828496 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.