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Int'l community has contributed $0 towards DRC polls - Ambassador

Int'l community has contributed $0 towards DRC polls - Ambassador

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Bene M’Poko, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) ambassador to South Africa, has debunked claims that his boss, Joseph Kabila, has intentions of running for a third term.

He blamed the international community for paying lip service to the conduct of elections in the country. He disclosed that the DRC needed about a billion dollars to organize elections.

He said international bodies – including the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and others – had agreed to support with 70% funding whiles the government paid the remaining 30%.

“I have documents here that the international community supported us [when we told them] we needed to do a voter registration. They said they were going to fund part of it,

‘‘Up to now, government has dispersed $180m and the international community $0… If the international community knew that they were not going to fund the process, why did they promise?” M’Poko quizzed.

The government has repeatedly rejected opposition claims that Kabila is delaying polls in order to cling on to power. His final term according to the constitution expires in December.

The ambassador who was speaking to South African news channel, News24, said; “President Kabila has never said he wanted [a] third term. He started the democracy in the DRC.

He wants to leave DRC in a good frame of a democratic process. That’s all he is concerned [about]. He has never said he wanted a third term in office. Those are allegations by the opposition.”

Meanwhile, back home in the DRC, the opposition has called for renewed protests after the deadly protests in September. They insist that Kabila steps down and polls be held as scheduled.

The electoral body has revealed that elections can only be held realistically by December of 2018. The compilation of a register should be over by July next year after which they need over 500 days to organize the elections.

The president on a recent visit to Tanzania supported the move by the electoral commission stating that there was the need to ensure that some 10 million unregistered people are not disenfranchised.