congolese elections

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. Kinshasa. October 31, 2016. A girl cries outside the Bondeko morgue as the bodies of six militants of the Congolese opposition party UDPS, who were burnt in arsons during the night of Sept. 19, 2016 at the party’s headquarters, are released.

According to the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, President Kabila should not be allowed to serve more than two terms. On 19 September 2016, massive protests calling for him to step down as legally mandated rocked Kinshasa, and killed 17 people. Elections to determine a successor to Kabila were originally scheduled to be held on 27 November 2016. However, on 29 September 2016, the nation’s electoral authority announced that the election would not be held until early 2018. According to the electoral commission’s vice president, the commission “hasn’t called elections in 2016 because the number of voters isn’t known." However, the opposition alleges that Kabila had intentionally delayed the election to remain in power.

More demonstrations are planned to mark the passing of the end of the presidential mandate. Opposition groups claim that the outcome of late elections would be civil war.

Photograph: Eduardo Soteras/AFP/Getty