Congolese President Joseph Kabila (pictured) pledged at the United Nations on Tuesday that elections planned for December will go ahead, promising to take steps to ensure the vote is peaceful and credible.
In power for two decades, Kabila this year bowed to international pressure and agreed to step aside, allowing a new candidate to stand in the December 23 vote in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Addressing the General Assembly, Kabila said that despite the challenges of holding elections in his vast country, “I now reaffirm the irreversible nature of our decision to hold the elections as planned at the end of this year.”
“Everything will be done in order to ensure that these elections are peaceful and credible,” said Kabila.
Britain, France and the United States had urged Kabila to state clearly that he would not seek another term amid fears that his failure to step aside could trigger violence.
The DR Congo has not known a peaceful transition of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.
Kabila vowed to “oppose any interference in the electoral process under way” and said DR Congo state would cover the cost of the elections. —AFP