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DRC Opposition to Protest Against Kabila


In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the opposition says it will go ahead with demonstrations against President Joseph Kabila on May 26, 2016.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the opposition says it will go ahead with demonstrations against President Joseph Kabila on May 26, 2016.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the opposition says it will go ahead Thursday with demonstrations against President Joseph Kabila. The opposition accuses Kabila of trying to delay elections until he can change the constitution to run for a third term.

The opposition in the DRC hopes to strike back against President Joseph Kabila after two major setbacks this month.

Moise Katumbi, as yet the only opposition leader to declare his candidacy for president, was indicted, accused of recruiting American mercenaries, which he denies.

Opposition figure Moise Katumbi (R) arrives at the courthouse in Lubumbashi, DRC, May 13, 2016.

Opposition figure Moise Katumbi (R) arrives at the courthouse in Lubumbashi, DRC, May 13, 2016.

And the Constitutional Court ruled that Kabila can stay in office if November elections are postponed, as many think they will be. Kabila's term officially ends December 19.

The opposition has reacted furiously, announcing nationwide marches against what one major coalition called the “gravediggers of democracy.”

Opposition leader Martin Fayulu told VOA the Constitutional Court is a subservient court, a court that belongs to Kabila. He said we must show the court that we do not agree.

The administrations in many Congolese towns have refused to allow Thursday's protest. But they may still go ahead, since the opposition argue the constitution requires them only to inform the authorities of their intention to demonstrate.

Riot police attempt to disperse supporters of DRC’s opposition presidential candidate Moise Katumbi as they escort him to the prosecutor's office in Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga province, May 13, 2016.

Riot police attempt to disperse supporters of DRC’s opposition presidential candidate Moise Katumbi as they escort him to the prosecutor's office in Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga province, May 13, 2016.

In Kinshasa, however, the march can take place as planned following a meeting between the governor, the police, the opposition and the U.N.

But there is concern about potential violence. Congolese security forces are known for their heavy-handed response to protests. This month, police have violently dispersed several pro-Katumbi meetings in his hometown of Lubumbashi.

And there are also reports that the ruling party is planning its own activities Thursday, which may only heighten tensions in the streets.

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