DR Congo to fully finance December elections

The Democratic Republic of Congo will self-finance the next elections so as to protect the country from external interference, BBC reports a government spokesperson.

Lambert Mende accused other countries of offering help during the elections, only to “blackmail” the DR Congo at a later stage.

As a result, the cost of the elections on 23 December will be borne by the national budget – much as it was back in 2011, an election mired in allegations of irregularities.

The DR Congo last accepted foreign aid to finance an election in the 2006 poll.

The upcoming elections – delayed from 2016 – are projected to expensive, as every voter will cast three votes.

The country is however confident that it can foot the bill alone.

“We’re getting more for our cobalt and our copper,” BBC quotes Mende.

“That money must help to liberate us from these vultures who want to control our elections by paying for them.

“Everyone wants to help us with the elections, to blackmail us later. Elections are a matter of sovereignty. The national budget can cover all expenses,” Mende added.

The decision came the day after President Joseph Kabila’s government said it would stay away from a donor conference in Geneva next month.

The United Nations says $1.7bn (£1.2bn) are needed to avert a catastrophic humanitarian crisis in DR Congo. The government says the UN is exaggerating and giving the country a bad image.