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Congo opposition rejects new timetable for polls to replace Kabila

Congo opposition rejects new timetable for polls to replace Kabila
From Reuters - November 7, 2017

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congos main opposition parties have rejected a new date for elections announced at the weekend to replace President Joseph Kabila, saying it violates the law and a political deal agreed with the government.

Originally scheduled for late 2016, the polls have been repeatedly delayed. Following several rounds of deadly protests, Kabilas camp and his opponents signed an accord last December agreeing to hold the election before the end of this year.

On Sunday, Congos CENI elections commission announced that the election, which term limits currently bar Kabila from taking part in, will be held on Dec. 23, 2018 with the winner to be sworn in on Jan. 13, 2019.

The calendar presented by the CENI violates the Constitution, the Dec. 31, 2016 accord and electoral law, read a statement from opposition leader Felix Tshisekedis Rassemblement coalition.

The document was also agreed to by the MLC and UNC opposition parties.

Dozens died in protests against Kabilas refusal to step down at the end of his constitutional mandate last December.

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