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South Africa confident over DRC's Dec. polls

South Africa confident over DRC's Dec. polls

Democratic Republic Of Congo

South Africa has expressed confidence in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s December elections saying the polls would be peaceful.

South Africa’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu said DR Congo’s President Joseph Kabila and the electoral commission had given guarantees to the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) bloc that the country was ready to hold the delayed poll.

‘‘We had the opportunity to call on the electoral commission from the DRC (Ceni) and they explained to us all the processes that were underway, and by the time we left we felt very comfortable that they had the situation under control”, Sisulu said.

We had the opportunity to call on the electoral commission from the DRC( Ceni) and they explained to us all the processes that were underway, and by the time we left we felt very comfortable that they had the situation under control.

The delayed elections are now due on December 23 and Kabila is not standing for re-election.

Out of 25 applications, the electoral commission also called CENI has rejected six presidential aspirants, including ex-warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba.

Bemba, a former vice president, was considered one of the top opposition contenders since returning to the country in August following his acquittal of war crimes by the International Criminal Court. However, an appeal in another case about interfering with witnesses is still pending.

Nevertheless, Bemba is among three other candidates who are appealing the decision and the final list of candidates is expected next month.

The South African Foreign Affairs Minister also touched on other regional issues including the land expropriation reforms in South Africa and Zimbabwe’s just held elections. Sisulu said they were unprepared for the protests, post -electoral violence recorded and response from security apparatus in the Southern African nation.

AFP

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