DRC talks suspended over opposition demands
KINSHASA — Political talks between the government and opposition parties have reportedly been suspended after the main opposition block, Rassemblement, set pre-conditions for attending.
According to Voice of America, the Rassemblement’s demands included freeing political prisoners, lifting existing bans on several TV stations and the resignation of the dialogue’s current facilitator, Edem Kodjo, former chairperson of the Organisation of African Unity.
A previous News24 report indicated that tensions in the DRC arose following a controversial court ruling that allowed President Joseph Kabila to remain in power beyond the two consecutive presidential terms permitted by the country’s constitution.
Last month the main opposition alliance called for a general strike against Kabila’s 15-year rule. This was after rejecting talks over elections that were due to be held in November.
The elections were suspended until next year after government authorities said that a delay would be needed to register millions of new voters.
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.
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. — AFP