Scene Setter for Planned December Election in DRC

Scene Setter for Planned December Election in DRC

An opposition supporter holds up a reading 'Long live the opposition' during a rally organised by political opposition parties in Kinshasa on July 31, 2016. Eduardo Soteras/AFP/Getty Images
from Africa in Transition

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Democratic Republic of Congo

Joseph Kabila

Elections and Voting

Sub-Saharan Africa


Though Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala of Democratic Republic of Congo officially announced on June 12 that President Joseph Kabila would not stand for a controversial third term, this has not ended speculation that Kabila, whose term of office expired in 2016, will find a way to continue to stay in power. Shortly thereafter, in what will surely complicate the election, the International Criminal Court acquitted Jean-Pierre Bemba, the former Congolese vice president, an ex-warlord, and a fierce rival of Kabila. Before these announcements were made, I sat down with Comfort Ero, the Africa program director for International Crisis Group, to discuss a new Crisis Group report on the situation in Congo as the tentative December election date approaches. Our discussion focuses on technical issues facing election officials, challenges that the opposition faces, the role of international and regional actors, and President Kabila’s personal situation.

John Campbell

Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies