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Congo political crisis talks suspended till Wednesday


12-18-2016 10:17 BJT

Crisis talks to ensure a peaceful political transition have been suspended but will resume on Wednesday, the day after President Joseph Kabila's last legal term in office ends.

The chief mediator says no deal has been reached after 11 hours of talks between Kabila's ruling party and opposition groups. The Congolese constitution bans presidents from serving a third term, but Kabila has shown no signs of stepping down and no elections have yet been planned.

The 45-year-old president has signalled his desire to remain in power until a successor is chosen in an election, but some opposition figures want him to hand over to a transitional leadership while awaiting the vote. 

"They don't want to change their position they want Joseph Kabila to stay in power without any concession. We are saying the term of Kabila has come to an end so let us agree on how we will run the country from Dec 20th. They are buying time and reinforcing themselves, reinforcing security and police, you can see in the town everywhere.

The 19th isn't a special date and we're not working to that timeframe. Because after the 19th if we haven't resolved the issue of the electoral process in an acceptable and lasting manner, these problems will persist. So we are working in a way that will normalise our democratic space," said Martin Fayulu, member of opposition rassemblement.

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