Nothing will delay elections says Kabila

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(Photo Courtesy)
Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Joseph Kabila addresses a news conference at the State House in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo January 26, 2018. REUTERS/Kenny Katombe/File Photo

Congo’s leader says “there is no further reason” to prevent Sunday’s presidential election after two years of delays, but he blames an Ebola outbreak for the last-minute decision to keep an estimated 1 million voters from the polls.

In an interview with The Associated Press, President Joseph Kabila says it would be a “disaster” if people vote Sunday in two large communities in the Ebola outbreak zone, asserting that “a single person” could infect scores or hundreds of others.

His comments Thursday evening contradict those of his own health officials, who have said precautions had been made in collaboration with electoral officials so people could vote in the outbreak zone.

Voting is delayed in opposition strongholds Beni and Butembo until March, long after the inauguration of Kabila’s successor in January.