US asks Kin­shasa to hold elec­tions in 2018 or risk los­ing its back­ing

The East African - - NEWS -

DRC: The US am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions, Nikki Ha­ley, told the Demo­cratic Re­pub­lic of Congo to hold elec­tions next year, rather than de­lay them un­til 2019, if it wanted to count on Amer­i­can back­ing.

“Elec­tions must be held in 2018, (oth­er­wise) the DRC should not count on the sup­port of the United States and the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity,” Ha­ley said, after meet­ing Corneille Nan­gaa, head of DRC’S Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion.

“We are not go­ing to sup­port a timetable which doesn’t clearly show that the elec­tions will be held in 2018,” she said, ac­cord­ing to a French trans­la­tion of her re­marks.

Polls in DRC were sched­uled to be held by the end of 2017, un­der a tran­si­tional deal with the op­po­si­tion aimed at avoid­ing fresh po­lit­i­cal blood­shed after Pres­i­dent Joseph Ka­bila re­fused to step down when his sec­ond man­date ended last De­cem­ber.

The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity has pressed for a vote to choose a new head of state to be held as soon as pos­si­ble — but no timetable has been set so far.

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