The Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral commission on Saturday said it would seek to delay calling voters to the polls until late 2017, though the opposition swiftly rejected the proposal. The announcement came amid opposition fears that President Joseph Kabila will not step down when his term expires in December. “Voters will be called to the polls for the presidential and provincial and national legislative elections simultaneously in November 2017,” electoral commission chief Corneile Naanga told reporters.
“That is when the candidacies will be submitted,” Naanga said after making the proposal before participants in a so-called national dialogue aimed at ending a tense political standoff in the vast, resource-rich nation.
Naanga told participants in the dialogue that the commission would require “504 days starting from July 31, 2017” to deal with a string of challenges in its bid to organise the presidential and legislative votes.
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