DR Congo: Sunday election won’t hold in Beni, Butembo and Yumbi
Congo’s electoral body has said that Sunday presidential poll has been postponed in Beni and Butembo in eastern North Kivu Province and Yumbi in the west of the country.
The election due to take place on Sunday is being postponed until March in the three areas following damming reports on insecurity and an Ebola outbreak.
However the areas are also seen as an opposition stronghold and opposition supporters accused the government of attempting to disenfranchise them.
“The decision appears to cancel the votes of more than a million people because the new president is due to be sworn in by the middle of January”, BBC reported.
The election to elect Joseph Kabila’s successor, who has been in office since 2001, was meant to have stepped down in 2016 under a constitutional prohibition from seeking an additional term.
However, the election to choose his successor has been continually postponed, amid unrest and reported logistical difficulties. Opposition supporters suspect that he intends to cling on to power.
In Yumbi, at least 80 people were killed earlier this month and thousands have fled to neighbouring Congo-Brazzaville amid violence triggered by a dispute over where to bury a traditional chief.
Beni has been affected by an Ebola outbreak that has killed at least 350 people since August. Nearby Butembo has seen attacks on civilians attributed to a Ugandan Islamist militia, the Allied Democratic Forces.
Moise Katumbi, an opposition leader in exile who is supporting Mr Fayulu, said the move was “unjustifiable”