Electoral Commission files petition to delay presidential election in DRC

March 22, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

By

Darell Maurice

The President of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cornelius Nangaa Yobeluo will file a petition with the Constitutional Court for a delay in the organization of the country’s presidential and legislative elections scheduled for November 2016.

The presidential election continues to move further way in the DRC. In November 2016, it could be postponed for several months if we are to believe the recent statements of the commission’s president. CENI will ask the Constitutional Court for “a small extension” to organize the next general election.

Cornelius Nangaa Yobeluo also pointed out an “extension which will not last forever” and the “limited in time bearing in mind the requirements.” The reason given by CENI is the revision of the electoral review which could take several months. Amending the file may require 13 to 16 months of additional time to incorporate new and to remove deceased voters, there being 10 to 12 million files to review . Nangaa stated that the only condition for the organization of elections in 2016 would be to forget the electoral revision.

The Congolese opposition, which has for months feared a “slippage” of the electoral calendar, suspects President Joseph Kabila is delaying the elections to remain in power after 2016. The Congolese president is currently acting in his last term at the head of the country. Under the Constitution, one can not stand for a third term. With eight months remaining until voting, the report has not been favoured by opponents as the Congolese government had five years since the 2011 elections to revise the electoral register and organize presidential and legislative elections within the constitutional time.

As for the request of Cornelius Nangaa before the Constitutional Court, some opponents wonders if CENI is able to influence the Court, in addtion to that of the Court’s possible jurisdiction to postpone the presidential election. According to the electoral commission schedule published in February 2015, the presidential elections are to due be held on November 27, 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Darell Maurice

Darell Maurice is a Journalist based in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital city Kinshasa and works for Canal7kintv. He also blogs here.

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