Democratic Republic of Congo’s ruling coalition and other smaller parties have agreed to delay next month’s elections to April 2018 – a move that will anger opposition groups who have accused the president of trying to cling onto power. Congo’s main opposition bloc was not immediately available for comment but has already called a general strike for Wednesday to press President Joseph Kabila to leave at the end of his mandate in December. Last month dozens died in two days of protests in the capital Kinshasa against planned delays to the vote due to what authorities said were logistical problems registering millions of voters in the massive and impoverished country.
Parties agreed in talks on Saturday to give more time for voter registration and keep Kabila in office until the delayed vote, said one organization in the discussions, the Union for the Congolese Nation. Delegates at the talks would likely ratify the decision on Monday, the statement said.
UNC president Vital Kamerhe is widely expected to become prime minister as part of the power-sharing government ushered in under the talks.