Kabila Will Not Stand For President In Congo Election

Congo's Kabila will not stand in presidential election

"The conclusion of consultations under President Joseph Kabila Kabange, the moral authority of the Common Front for Congo, has resulted in a name, the rare bird who will represent our political family in the presidential election", government spokesman Lambert Mende told reporters in the capital, Kinshasa, on Wednesday. They were initially supposed to be held in late 2016, but were postponed when the electoral commission's failed to organize them. That sparked protests in which the military and police killed dozens of people.

Kabila's political allies had floated various legal arguments they said would justify his running again but he came under strong pressure from regional allies like Angola as well as the United States and European Union to stand down.

The selection of Ramazani, 57, is, however, a defiant move. "It is Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, permanent secretary of the (ruling) PPRD".

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Kabila should have stepped down at the end of 2016 when his second term expired, but he invoked a constitutional clause allowing him to remain in office as a caretaker.

"We welcome reports that President Kabila will not seek a third term in accordance with his country's constitution", US Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement.

Kabila, who came to power in 2001 after the assassination of his father, former President Laurent Kabila, by law can not run again after his mandate ended in late 2016.

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Congo's President Joseph Kabila is not running again in December's long-delayed elections, easing concerns by the opposition and global community that he would try to stay in office and positioning one of Africa's most turbulent nations for its first peaceful, democratic transfer of power.

They fear that the goodwill Kabila could earn from not seeking a new term could make it easier for his coalition to cheat.

The election should herald Congo's first democratic transition of power following decades marked by authoritarian rule, coups and deadly conflict.

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So far, three major opposition leaders - Jean-Pierre Bemba, Vital Kamerhe and Felix Tshisekedi - have registered to compete in the presidential election.

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