Congo election commission calls for poll delay until end of 2018

Presidential elections in Congo should be delayed by over two years, electoral authorities said Saturday, in the wake of mass protests over the date of the poll.

Elections were due to take place in November this year, but the election commission said that they should be postponed until December 2018.

After voter registration was completed in July next year, it would take another 504 days to organize the nationwide vote, the office of commission chairman Corneille Nangaa said.

Earlier this month, the commission asked the constitutional court to consider postponing the elections, saying preparations could not be completed in time.

The controversy over the date of the poll has lead to mass protests and violence in recent weeks, and the deaths of dozens of people.

President Joseph Kabila's second term in office will end on December 19, and he cannot run for a third term according to the current constitution.

A new election date has not yet been set and the opposition is concerned the 45-year-old ruler is trying to extend his time in power.

Last update: Sat, 01/10/2016 - 23:36

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