Felix Tshisekedi files for DR Congo presidential election

Lester Mason
August 11, 2018

Mr Kabila's second term ended in 2016, but elections have been delayed and there had been speculation that he would run again.

Candidates had until afternoon Wednesday to officially enter the race for the presidency, which will be determined on December 23.

Kabila, in office since 2001, by law can not run again after his mandate ended in late 2016.

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.

Mr. Kabila's term formally expired at the end of 2016, but the 47-year-old repeatedly delayed.

Kabila, who came to power in 2001 after the assassination of his father, former President Laurent Kabila, by law can not run again after his mandate ended in late 2016.

Haley traveled to Kinshasa past year to press leaders to hold the elections after much delay.

His tenure over the vast mineral-rich country has been marked by a reputation for corruption, inequality and unrest.

Map of the DR Congo, showing conflict zones, mineral wealth, United Nations bases, food insecurity and refugees, with close-up on North & South Kivu.

Many provinces are in the grip of armed conflict and millions have had to flee their homes, many flocking to Uganda, Tanzania, Angola and Zambia.

The chosen candidate "will be known early in the morning", Kabila's spokesman Lambert Mende told AFP after the talks.

The United States is ready to impose further sanctions to dissuade Kabila from continuing his hold on power, the Financial Times reported Monday. Another, Moise Katumbi, says Kabila is preventing him from returning to Congo and filing his papers. "They're trying to squeeze his family and his finances".

Mr Shadary will face former Vice-President Jean Pierre Bemba, who returned to DR Congo last week after being acquitted of war crimes at the International Criminal Court.

On Tuesday, Felix Tshisekedi, the president of Congo's largest opposition party, the UDPS, and son of the late opposition icon Etienne Tshisekedi, filed his candidacy at the electoral commission headquarters in Kinshasa.

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

Katumbi has been living in self-imposed exile in Belgium since May 2016 after falling out with Kabila.

The announcement that Kabila will not run again for the People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD) will ease fears in the region and beyond that a Kabila candidacy would drag the country back into the civil wars of the turn of the century in which millions died, mostly from hunger and disease.

The announcement comes just hours before the deadline for candidates to register.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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