Six months before constitutionally-mandated presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) should take place, the Congolese government seems set on delaying this crucial poll, with voter registration due to continue well into 2017.
The opposition and civil society are firm: elections must be held by 29 November 2016, failing which the government will be in violation of the constitution. DRC President Joseph Kabila, whose second term and last mandate end soon, has not declared a successor or put an end to speculation that he may try and stay on for a third term.
In January the African Union accepted the Congolese government’s request to facilitate an internal political dialogue on the electoral process. The designated facilitator, Edem Kodjo has however failed to win the confidence of the opposition. The international community, which must foot part of the bill, is also hamstrung. In the meantime, political tensions are mounting as human rights activists, journalists and opposition politicians are harassed and arrested. What can keep the DRC from going off the deep end?
Chair: Nelson Alusala, Research Associate, ISS
Speaker: Stephanie Wolters, Head, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis division, ISS Stephanie Wolters, Head, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis division, ISS