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DR Congo elections could be delayed till 2016 over update of voter lists

Democratic Republic Of Congo

13 months is what could be required to revise the Democratic Republic of Congo voters lists.

This is according to sources who said that the estimates came from the country’s elections commission.

A document dated January 14 purporting to be from the National Independent Elections Commission (CENI) and published on Twitter, said it would take 13 months and 10 days to carry out even a partial revision of the lists at a cost of $122 million.

The document also indicated that it could take 16 months and $290 million to revise the full voters lists.

According to the CENI, authentication of the document published by a UK-based political analyst Michael Tshibangu is difficult.

Tshibangu is the president of the Association of Development and Democracy in the Congo. However, diplomatic sources in Kinshasa confirmed the document was genuine.

Critics have accused president Joseph Kabila of manoeuvering to delay the elections by drawing out the electoral calendar in a bid to maintain his grip on power.

The opposition and Kabila have called for polls to be held with updated voter registers that would include an estimated 7 million new voters.

The mineral rich country has not had a peaceful transfer of power in the last 55 years since independence and there are fears that the ongoing dispute over the elections could spark violence in a nation that has faced instability over the years.

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