DRC PM: Joseph Kabila won’t seek third term as president

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The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) prime minister says President Joseph Kabila won’t seek a third term in charge when the country holds elections.

DRC Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala said on Tuesday that Kabila will respect the country’s constitution which limits presidents to serving a maximum of two terms. Speaking at the International Economic Forum of the Americas conference in Montreal, Canada, Tshibala said the DRC’s delayed elections will go ahead without the participation of long-serving president Kabila.

Kabila won’t seek third term

“The elections are going to take place without the participation of President Kabila, who will abide by the spirit and the letter of the constitution,” Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala said during an interview at the International Economic Forum of the Americas on Tuesday.

Kabila’s second term officially ended in December 2016 but the president has held onto power following a series of delays in holding presidential elections to choose his successor. Various opposition groups have accused Kabila of attempting to delay elections in order to push for constitutional changes that would allow him to run for a third term.

However, a spokesman for the DRC in February said Kabila won’t run in the next election, which is scheduled for December 2018. Now, PM Tshibala is also suggesting the president will step aside although Kabila is yet to name a successor to his role as the ruling party’s leader.

Meanwhile, Kabila hasn’t explicitly said he will step down ahead of the poll, keeping speculation over his intentions alive. The deadline for announcing candidates for the election is August 8 and suspicion remains that Kabila will attempt to bypass the constitutional term limit. Some suspect that three newly appointed judges will use legal technicalities to legitimise a third campaign for Kabila, using the fact that electoral procedures in the constitution have changed during his time in power.

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.