UN Security Council demands election timetable in DRC

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No DRC Presidential Poll Before 2019: Electoral Commission

The Democratic Republic of Congo opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi said on Thursday that the delay of the presidential election by the country's electoral commission amounted to a declaration of war on the Congolese people.

Dozens of people died past year in protests against Kabila's refusal to step down at the end of his term.

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The delay could be reduced "if we accept to use voting machines and if we change the electoral law", a commission spokesman told AFP.

"The council expects a speedy publication of the electoral timetable and the implementation of the confidence-building measures". While the news about the elections' postponing was announced, the UN Security Council was holding a meeting on the DRC, in the presence of the country's representative at the United Nations, Maman Sidikou.

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The 15-member council agreed on a renewed message for the swift and full implementation of the December 31, 2016 agreement, which is essential to a credible electoral process and to the peace and stability of the DRC, Delattre told reporters after closed-door Security Council consultations.

The Security Council called for elections to be organised this year in the DR Congo, in line with a political agreement reached between the government and opposition groups.

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Diplomats said they did not consider the latest statement from the electoral commission as a formal timetable, which they stressed must contain specific dates for the vote.

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