Vice president of Congo elections commission resigns

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 31, 2015 9:02 AM

KINSHASA (Reuters) - The vice president of Democratic Republic of Congo's election commission resigned on Saturday, a source at the presidency said, throwing the country's troubled election process into further turmoil.

André Mpungwe's resignation comes just three weeks after the president of the commission, Apollinaire Malumalu, quit his post for health reasons. The source did not give a reason for Mpungwe's resignation.

Congo was meant to begin a 13-month cycle of local, provincial and national elections last Sunday, scheduled to culminate in a November 2016 presidential election that could mark the first peaceful transition of power in the country's history.

But those elections were missed after Congo's constitutional court ordered the election commission last month to review the calendar, saying that logistical and budgetary constraints have made it untenable.

Political tensions are running high in Congo, where opponents of President Joseph Kabila accuse him of using election delays to postpone the presidential poll and cling to power beyond the end of his mandate in 2016, when he is barred by the constitution from standing for a third elected term.

Kabila has refused to comment publicly on his political future, though a spokesman said he intends to respect the constitution.

(Reporting By Aaron Ross; Editing by Joe Bavier and Digby Lidstone)