The US Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region, Thomas Perriello, said on 13 September 2016 that elections should be rapidly organised in the DRC.
Door-stepped after meeting Corneille Naanga, Chairperson of the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), Perriello indicated “we must do everything that is feasible in order to respect the spirit of the constitution and ensure polls are held as quickly as possible”.
The Special Envoy put particular emphasis on the holding of the presidential election. The American diplomat said “we held discussions on the elections technical aspects, how to quickly hold elections, more specifically the presidential election”. He added “there is a particular interest in the technical issues around elections not only for those attending the dialogue but also those outside of the forum, including the Congolese population”.
The timing of the presidential election has been a bone of contention between the ruling coalition and the opposition at the dialogue.
For the regime, the presidential election should be held last, after all other polls have been held. The opposition on the other hand strongly feels the presidential election should be given top priority.
In power since 2001 following the assassination of his father, President Kabila was elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2011. His second term ends in December 2016 and he is constitutionally banned from a third term. The opposition accuses him of eying another term of office.