DR Congo’s constitutional court approves postponement of presidential vote

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The Democratic Republic of Congo’s constitutional court on Monday said it had approved a petition by the electoral commission to delay presidential elections set for November, allowing President Joseph Kabila to remain in office until April 2018.

Kabila was due to step down in December when his constitutionally allowed two-term mandate expires.

The country’s opposition had accused the president of plotting to delay the elections in order to cling onto power beyond December.

The ruling coalition and part of the opposition say agreed to postpone the elections to April 2018.

Most opposition parties boycotted talks to resolve the stalemate and called for a general strike on Wednesday to put pressure on Kabila. They are likely to be further angered because the court appeared to breach its own quorum rules in reaching Monday’s decision.

Dozens were killed in Kinshasa in September after security authorities clashed with anti-Kabila protesters.

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