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article imageDR Congo president Kabila to make address to the nation

By AFP     Jul 18, 2018 in World

DR Congo President Joseph Kabila will make a speech to parliament on Thursday, less than a week before candidates can begin to register in postponed presidential elections.

The vast African country is in the grip of a crisis over whether Kabila will run in crucial, long-delayed elections in December despite his constitutional limit expiring in 2016.

The president has yet to say whether or not he intends to register, and candidates must declare their bid between July 25 and August 1.

"The National Assembly and the senate will both convene for the speech," a joint statement from the two chambers said Wednesday.

"The agenda has only one item, the President of the Republic's speech on the state of the nation."

Last week, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he had agreed to postpone his visit to the country to allow Kabila to announce "important decisions."

Kabila, who took over from his assassinated father in 2001, presides over a country with a history of corruption, poor governance and armed conflict.

He was supposed to step down at the end of 2016 after he reached his two-term limit, but a constitutional clause allowed him to remain in office until his successor is elected.

Elections that should have been held that year were rescheduled for 2017, and postponed again to December 23, 2018.

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