Submit this form
Home News Videos Music Photos Facebook Twitter Friends Newsletter Podcasts Mobile RSS
Congo Adopts New Constitution, But Polls Look Delayed

Previous article | Next
VOA News - February 18, 2006

The Democratic Republic of Congo adopted a new constitution Saturday, taking another step towards recovery after decades of dictatorship, war and chaos. The new document paves the way for the first democratic elections in 40 years. But, speculation is mounting over whether the June 30 deadline for elections can be met.

Congo's President Joseph Kabila signs the country's new postwar constitution Amid much pomp and ceremony, and in the presence of South Africa's president and the head of the African Union, Congo's President Joseph Kabila signed in his country's post war constitution Saturday.

Cannons thundered, a new flag was raised and thousands cheered at Mr. Kabila's riverside presidential palace.

Diplomats said that it was another step in the right direction for the vast African country which is struggling to recover from a five year war that has killed four million people.

The new constitution will bring in leaders due to be elected in polls later this year that are considered the cornerstone for peace deals that ended Congo's last conflict.

The last time Congo had a new constitution was in 1967, when Mobutu Sese Seko took power and went on to rule for decades, crippling the mineral-rich giant at the heart of Africa.

However, Congo's conflict is believed to be the most deadly since the Second World War and the international community has invested billions there, not only in U.N. peacekeepers but also the process of organizing elections.

Continued fighting, deep divisions within the transitional government and mammoth logistical challenges have delayed the process already, leading to violent protests in 2005.

Despite promises by Mr. Kabila to the contrary, and continued pressure from those eager to see the process completed and avoid possible violence, speculation is mounting that the June 30, 2006 election deadline will also slip.

Parliament has not yet passed an electoral law and experts say the process of registering candidates, printing ballot papers for Congo's 25 million voters and distributing them around the vast country will take months.

For many in Kinshasa, however, Saturday marked what they hope will be an end to the country's turbulent and lawless past.


Related articles


  1. Botswana Urges Joseph Kabila to Step Down (February 26, 2018)
  2. No elections in DR Congo in December without electronic voting machines: INEC (February 13, 2018)
  3. US Warns DR Congo Against Electronic Voting for Delayed Election (February 12, 2018)
  4. Felix Tshisekedi accuses INEC of illegally prolonging Kabila's mandate (October 24, 2017)
  5. DRC Seeks Arrest of Presidential Candidate Moise Katumbi (May 19, 2016)
  6. Papa Wemba Is Buried in Kinshasa (May 4, 2016)
  7. Papa Wemba Awarded Highest National Honor as Thousands Pay Tribute (May 2, 2016)
  8. Rights Groups: DR Congo Must Free Pro-democracy Activists (April 13, 2015)
  9. Police Open Fire on Crowd Protesting Election Law Change (January 19, 2015)
  10. Etienne Tshisekedi Evacuated to Belgium for Medical Treatment (August 16, 2014)
  11. Kerry Calls on Kabila to Honor Constitution (May 4, 2014)
  12. Kerry in DR Congo for Security Talks (May 3, 2014)
  13. DR Congo Takes Chairmanship of COMESA at Summit in Kinshasa (February 26, 2014)
  14. DR Congo Honors Nelson Mandela, Hero and Model for Humanity (December 6, 2013)
  15. Congo Army Takes Control of Mbuzi Hill From M23 Rebels (November 4, 2013)
  16. Kabila Congratulates Congo Army for Defeating M23 Rebels (October 30, 2013)
  17. DR Congo Eases Process for Starting a New Business (June 3, 2013)
  18. Regional Leaders Sign DR Congo Peace Deal (February 24, 2013)
  19. The M23 Rebels Want to Overthrow Kabila? Nonsense (November 28, 2012)
  20. Protests Against M23 Rebels, Government and UN Spread (November 22, 2012)
  21. Thousands Protest M23 Capture of Goma, Turn on Government and UN (November 21, 2012)
  22. DR Congo Officials Vow to Defend Goma Against M23 Rebels (November 19, 2012)
  23. UN Security Council condemns 'any and all outside support' to M23 rebels (October 19, 2012)
  24. At high-level meeting, Ban urges political solution to crisis in eastern DR Congo (September 27, 2012)
  25. US Cuts Military Aid to Rwanda Over Support to Rebels in DR Congo (July 21, 2012)
  26. DR Congo, Rwanda Sign Pact to Fight Rebels in Eastern Congo (July 15, 2012)
  27. Police Investigate Former Prime Minister for Corruption (May 14, 2012)
  28. Kabila Names Members of New Government (April 30, 2012)
  29. Kabila Names Finance Minister as New Prime Minister (April 19, 2012)
  30. Kabila's Position on The Arrest of Ntaganda 'Has Not Changed' (April 13, 2012)


Live TV Congo Radio en ligne Radio


Make CongoPlanet.com Your Home Page | Contact Us | About Us | ╔dition en Franšais | French Edition

© 2018 CongoPlanet.com. All rights reserved.