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No to 'foreign interference': Why DRC insists on funding upcoming polls

No to 'foreign interference': Why DRC insists on funding upcoming polls

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo says it will use its own funds to organize upcoming presidential elections slated for December this year.

Kinshasa’s decision according to Information Minister, Lambert Mende, is because it had rejected conditions attached to international contributions – conditions he said meddled in Congo’s sovereign affairs.

“No country in the world accepts foreign interference in a process that is an exercise of sovereignty,” Mende told Reuters in an interview on Monday (March 26).

According to him, the country’s capacity to finance the delayed process had also been buoyed by profits from its mining sector. The southern African country is a major producer of cobalt and Africa’s biggest copper producer.

There is a sharp disagreement on which system to employ in the polls. The international community led by the United States insist a ballot paper system be used as against government’s insistence on an electronic process.

The United Nations has asked international donors to contribute $123 million to support presidential, legislative and local elections over the next two years, whose total cost is expected to run to more than $1 billion.

Reuters reports that Election commission president Corneille Nangaa told Reuters on Monday he was aware of the government’s decision but had no further comment.

The elections will close the chapter on the Kabila regime which was supposed to have ended in 2016. Mende and Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala have stated that Kabila was going to abide by the consitution which bars him from another term.

The failure to organize polls has previously been blamed on the lack of a proper voter register, funding and on insecurity in parts of the sprawling African country.

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