Congo’s Kabila faces 10 opponents in November poll


Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Joseph Kabila will face 10 candidates in his bid to be re-elected in the country’s second post-war election, said the country’s electoral commission (CENI).

The Nov. 28 vote is seen as crucial to re-enforcing stability in the vast mineral rich country, which is still recovering from a conflict that ended in 2003.

Elections in 2006, which were almost entirely funded and organised by the international community, were deemed a success despite hundreds dying after fighting broke out in the capital Kinshasa, Reuters reports.

All 11 candidates hoping to run for president have been accepted, according to a provisional list published by the CENI at a news conference in the capital.
“This publication confirms one more time the commitment of the CENI to organise free democratic, transparent and peaceful elections,” CENI’s President Daniel Ngoy Mulunda said.

Kabila is favourite to be re-elected despite waning popularity over his failure to tackle corruption and bring to heel rebel groups in the east.

He faces competition from veteran opposition politician Etienne Tshisekedi and a former ally, Vital Kamerhe, who ran Kabila’s election campaign in 2006.

The president of the senate, Leon Kengo Wa Dondo, and former rebel leader Antipas Mbusa Nyamwisi are also standing.

Analysts say the opposition’s failure to back a single candidate is likely to help Kabila, particularly after a constitutional change this year scrapped the need for a second round if no candidate achieves an absolute majority.

Planning for the poll has been hit by problems after thousands of tonnes of electoral equipment including ballot boxes and voting booths failed to arrive in the country on time.

CENI’s Mulunda, who is close to Kabila and has faced criticism over his management of the electoral process, said the first plane loads of material had arrived on Tuesday and the elections would be held on time.