The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is facing a matter of serious consideration. They have a leader who is utterly reluctant to relinquish power and who will do anything to stay in power.
His mandate expired last year in December, and elections were supposed to be held. Through sheer frustration and forestalling from the country’s president Joseph Kabila, the whole process came to naught and Kabila stayed in power. Protests were held in much of the restive regions of the country, but they were met with the usual heavy-handedness of the state machinery. Negotiations with the opposition parties and the Catholic Church produced a fragile and delicate compromise, which is latently a recipe for a full-blown electoral crisis.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) announced that there will be no vote before early 2018. It has been suggested that the nation’s electoral commission has been an active agent in frustrating the process of elections. Elections were supposed to occur this year under a transitional deal aimed at avoiding fresh political bloodshed after President Joseph Kabila refused to step down when his second and final term ended in December 2016.
CENI is ill-prepared to conduct elections right now. They are still going to ask for more time so that they get their house in order. In all that while, violence will continue to take precedence and stability will remain a pipe dream in the country. The vast amounts of money required for voter registration and the actual process of carrying out the elections will force CENI to ask for more time. Joseph Kabila will still be in power.
The United Nations contends that elections are key to ending the crisis in DRC, but as it seems currently, this is still far from over.