Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Kabila to quit as DRC president, party names new candidate

Congo's Kabila will not stand in presidential election Congo President Joseph Kabila will not seek election for third term
Pablo Mccormick | 11 August, 2018, 02:38

By end of day yesterday, President Kabila announced through his spokesperson that he would not contest the December elections.

Shadary served as the interior minister under Kabila's government.

His nomination was confirmed by information minister Lambert Mende.

The selection of Ramazani, however, represents a defiant move by Kabila.

Kabila should have stepped down at the end of 2016 when his second term expired, but he invoked a constitutional clause allowing him to remain in office as a caretaker.

Another source, close to Kabila, said, "It's not a secret any more - it's about naming a candidate for our presidential platform".

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Opponents staged protests that were bloodily repressed, triggering angry condemnations from the United States and the European Union.

KINSHASA, Congo - Congo's president is not running again in December's long-delayed elections, easing concerns by the opposition and worldwide community that he would try to stay in office and positioning one of Africa's most turbulent nations for what could be its first peaceful, democratic transfer of power.

He has been in power since days after his father, Laurent-Désiré, was assassinated while president in 2001.

Kabila's tenure over the vast mineral-rich country has been marked by a reputation for corruption, inequality and unrest. The watchdog Transparency International ranked it 156 out of 176 countries in its 2016 corruption index.

Several provinces are in the grip of armed conflict and according to the UN High commissioner for refugees, more than four million people have had to flee their homes, many to Uganda, Tanzania, Angola and Zambia.

The United States is ready to impose further sanctions to dissuade Kabila from continuing his hold on power, the Financial Times reported Monday. "They're trying to squeeze his family and his finances".

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A surprise candidate is former Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba, fresh from acquittal of war crimes on appeal at the International Criminal Court; he had been convicted for murder, rape and pillaging committed by his Movement for the Liberation of Congo forces in neighboring Central African Republic in 2002 and 2003.

Felix Tshisekedi, who leads the largest opposition party, is also among the front-runners.

Mende said that Ramazani was on his way to the electoral commission headquarters in the capital Kinshasa to file his candidacy.

Kin-Kiey - a vocal Kabila supporter - is running as an independent, local media said.

He told AFP he was running "in the name of my party", called the Action Party.

He chose former interior minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, the ruling party's permanent secretary, as the candidate for the newly formed Common Front for Congo coalition.

Liverpool complete deal for striker hours after deadline
Honestly, if you could bottle character and spirit, his would sell worldwide - he is so incredibly positive and full of energy. The source added that the fee will include £18m guaranteed with a further £2m in add-ons based on appearances.

The fate of opposition leader Moise Katumbi who was barred from entering the country last week to lodge his candidacy has been a key issue ahead of the deadline.

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