DR Congo Opposition Figures Warn of ‘Chaos’ If Vote Is Rigged.

As the preparations for DR Congo Elections heat up, the opposition has warned Kabila’s Government of unrest of the incoming vote on December 23 is rigged. Six DR Congo opposition leaders on Wednesday urged President Joseph Kabila’s government to respect the rules for a long-delayed presidential election or risk “chaos” in a country mired by poverty and political rivalries.

The Daily Mail reports that the appeal was made in Brussels by presidential candidates Felix Tshisekedi and Vital Kamerhe, along with fellow opposition leaders Jean-Pierre Bemba, Moses Katumbi, Adolphe Muzito, and Antipas Mbusa.

They warned the national election committee and Kabila’s government to heed their demands or be “held responsible for the chaos and consequences that will result from organizing a parody of an election”, according to AFP.

Their demands are contained in a joint statement ahead of the December 23 elections. The opposition leaders pleaded for inclusive elections and for the UN force in DR Congo, MONUSCO, to be allowed to take part in the logistics for the vote.

Dail Mail goes on reporting that the opposition leaders demanded the “effective participation of candidates excluded or invalidated for political reasons”.

As the DR national electoral commission has issued joint communiqués stating that the former warlord Jean Pierre Bemba is excluded from standing for election because of a witness tampering conviction at the International Criminal Court (ICC), reports DW news.

He appealed the decision but the country’s Constitutional Court upheld the ban, citing his conviction by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for bribing witnesses at his war crimes trial.

The exiled Katumbi, the former governor of the Katanga province, has been prevented from returning to the country to run in the race, even as a coalition backs him.

Bemba has accused Kabila of trying to hand-pick a successor by eliminating serious rivals. The former Belgian colony has not seen a peaceful transition of power since 1960.

Kabila, in power since 2001, finally said he will not run again after keeping silent on the issue for months, fuelling tension and deadly unrest in the volatile central African nation.

The president, whose second and final term ended two years ago, has named his former interior minister Ramazani Shadary as his chosen successor.

Bemba declared his candidacy when he made a triumphant return home from Belgium after the ICC based in The Hague acquitted him of war crimes charges.

DR Congo has been plagued by constant riots of people protesting the presidency of President Kabila who appeared to have a grip on power in DR Congo.

The local media in DR Congo are reporting on the possible unity of the five key opposition figures and choose ‘one candidate’ to represent the opposition in the incoming elections, but some observers assume it as ‘impossible’ due to the opposition figures’ ambitions: all want to be in the place of President Kabila, as the local media 7sur7.cd reports.

BOTTOM LINE: Kabila, even if he has decided not to seek re-election, he is doing what is possible to pass the country to one of his favorite to make sure his post-presidency ambitions are met. The Opposition figures of DR Congo have risen to one accord in order to establish a new government, diffrerent from the Kabila’s.

 

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