French President Francois Hollande has stated that the Kabila-led government in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) should respect the constitution and organize elections when his mandate runs out later this year.
His position was made known via a tweet on the official handle of the Elysee Palace (Presidency of France) on Tuesday, a day after violent clashes in the DRC led to the death of 17 people according to the government.
Hollande who is currently in New York for the United Nations General Assembly joins other governments like the United States and the United Kingdom in demanding that elections be held later in December when Kabila’s second and final term ends.
The constitution must be respected, elections must take place.
Dutch firm, Gemalto was contracted to help the DRC government to compile a new voters register, but months later, the electoral body announced that elections were not feasible this year as planned but was possible by July next 2017.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) cited lack of funding and delays in voter registration as the major factors behind the postponement.
A court had ruled that if the country fails to organize elections later this year, the incumbent Joseph Kabila could stay on as president.
Even though he has yet to make known any ambitions to run for an ‘unconstitutional’ third term, there has been pressure from home and abroad calling on him to step down at the end of his tenure.
Kabila has ruled the country for the past 15 years following the assassination of his father Laurent Kabila. He is not eligible to stand for another term after December. Whenever elections are held it would be the first democratic transition in the war torn country.