NewsCentral AfricaCongo businesses close as opposition strikes over election delays


Posted on Monday, 03 April 2017 17:28

Congo businesses close as opposition strikes over election delays

By Reuters

In this June 30, 2016 photo, Congolese President Joseph Kabila  waves as he and others celebrate the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, independence in Kindu, Congo. Photo: John Bompengo/AP/SIPBusinesses shut down in the Congolese capital Kinshasa on Monday (April 3) as the opposition called a general strike after a breakdown in talks with President Joseph Kabila's allies last week raised fears of renewed violence.



Security forces in Democratic Republic of Congo killed dozens in protests over election delays last year but the strike appeared to be peaceful on Monday morning as stores and banks were shuttered and streets were quiet.


With police deployed at bus stops and intersections, there were only a handful of cars on the central boulevard in Kinshasa, a city of more than 10 million people, and the normally bustling central market was shut.

Choosing from three candidates

Kabila denies opposition charges that he is trying to cling to power, saying the election delays are due to challenges registering millions of voters.


Kabila's two-term mandate expired in December and Catholic bishops helped negotiate a deal that would require him to step down after holding elections before the end of 2017.


The head of the Rassemblement of the opposition parties, Felix Tshisekedi, son of the late UDPS party leader Etienne Tshisekedi, was nominated by the opposition groups to take the position of prime minster following the death of his father and in accordance with a political deal signed on January 31.

But the government said it wants to choose the prime minister from three candidates.


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