Protests over poll delay continue in DR Congo

Political crisis deepens in DR Congo after the main opposition party called for a nationwide strike last week to show President Joseph Kabila "the yellow card" for the election decision.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Anti-government protests take place through the capital of DR Congo, Kinshasa. Protesters are calling on President Joseph Kabila step down.

People in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa took the streets on Wednesday to protest against President Joseph Kabila’s plan to extend his term in office by postponing this year’s parliamentary election to April 2018.

The main opposition Union of Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party called for a general strike last week in the capital Kinshasa to protest the decision.

Kabila's second and final term comes to an end on December 20. The constitution prevents him from seeking a third term.

According to the UDPS, the deal is a "flagrant violation" of the constitution and the strikes aim to show Kabila "the yellow card."

The proposal to delay the election until April 2018 came as a part of a deal signed between the government and fringe opposition groups.

Since early September, representatives from the government, the opposition, and civil society groups had been negotiating the date of the election.

European Union foreign ministers on Monday threatened the country with sanctions if the legislative election did not take place by 2017.

“The EU will use all the means at its disposal, including individual restrictive measures against those responsible for serious human rights violations, those who promote violence and those who would try to obstruct a consensual and peaceful solution to the crisis,” they said.

TRTWorld and agencies