DRC : DR Congo president unlikely to give up power

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Political opponents suspect Joseph Kabila will try to subvert the Democratic Republic of Congo’s constitution and stay on as president beyond his second term, says Maud Jullien.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the presidential election is set for November 2016.

Political opponents and activists say that everything is in place for President Joseph Kabila to extend his stay in power, thus violating the constitution and potentially precipitating the continent-sized central African country into chaos.

« What we need is to have a specific action plan for the elections, » says Serge Syvia, a doctor and activist. « Because theirs (the government’s) is already being implemented. »

In a small wooden house that was built, like much of the eastern city of Goma, on dried lava rocks, members of a youth group called Lucha (struggle for change) are holding a meeting.

Lucha has a core of about 50 members and a few hundred sympathisers.

They believe in using non-violent protests to demand basic rights like running water, security and justice.

Currently, three of their members are in prison: one for taking part in a workshop in the capital Kinshasa on youth and democracy and two others for organising an outdoor tribute with candles and photos to victims of an armed group, based near the border with Uganda, which massacres people with machetes.

The government’s spokesperson has in the past called Lucha members terrorists and Goma’s mayor has banned their activities.

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