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DRC opposition calls for general strike against Kabila

22 August 2016, 14:24

Kinshasa - The Democratic Republic of Congo's main opposition alliance has called for a general strike on Tuesday against President Joseph Kabila's 15-year rule.

This was, according to reports, after the opposition rejected talks over elections that were due to be held in November. 

The opposition demanded that Kabila end his rule as president as mandated in the constitution. Authorities, however, said that the elections could only be held in July next year, with the top court granting Kabila permission remain in power until then.

The refusal by the opposition to hold talks with the government came as a setback to Edem Kodjo, the African Union mediator who had announced that discussions would be held between all concerned parties to reach an agreement on the upcoming elections.

The opposition accused Kodjo of favouring the government and demanded that he step down from his role as mediator.

Democratic transition 

Kabila vowed last month that nothing would stop the long-awaited elections from taking place, even as fears mounted of a possible delay. 

Kabila came into power after the assassination of his father in 2001 and although the constitution stated that a president could only serve for two terms, there have been consistent delays as Kabila clings onto power.

DRC has never had a democratic transition of power in its 56 years of independence from Belgium.

US President Barack Obama recently urged Kabila to hold a credible poll that respected the DRC's constitution.

Obama noted that Kabila's legacy as a leader, who brought his country out of war and set it on a path toward democratic progress, would be bolstered by free and fair elections.

- News 24


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