2 November 2015

Congo-Kinshasa: Katumbi Reacts to Kabila's 3rd Term Bid After DRC Announce 4-Year Delay Ahead of 2016 Polls

Photo: John Bompengo
DRC Electoral Commission

Popular Katanga businessman Moise Katumbi says the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo have rejected attempts for the country to have a life president.

Katumbi, who in September quit the ruling party, was reacting to announcement from the capital in Kinshasa that suggests the 2016 elections may be delayed by two to four years.

President Joseph Kabila is constitutionally limited to two terms, the second of which ends next year but the announcement appears to be an attempt by the Head of State to stay in power.

However, Katumbi released a statement in Algeria shortly after his soccer team, TP Mazembe, won 2-1 in the first game of the CAF Champions League Finals.

Katumbi's message of peace is in reaction to the acts of intimidation and a false coup that President Kabila is reportedly attempting to fabricate then pin on his political opposition (notably Katumbi).

"The ruling coalition's call to delay national elections is troubling but unfortunately not surprising. The people of the Democratic Republic of Congo have spoken through their Constitution that they do not want a president for life - and that they want presidents to be limited to no more than two five-year terms. More than that, the Congolese people want regular, free, fair, and transparent elections - and that should start with a national election in the fall of 2016.

"As frustrating as this latest announcement from the government may be to the Congolese people - and to me personally - I continue to believe that the only and best way to share our displeasure is through peaceful, non-violent means. I have never believed in violence as a means of resolving differences in a civil society and I deplore its use. If others choose to protest, I ask that that they do so peacefully -- for their safety and the strength of our country. In order for democracy to flourish in the DRC we must demonstrate to ourselves and the world that we are able to achieve a peaceful and lawful transition of power."

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