The government of Joseph Kabila’s Congo have announced that elections slated for next year might not come on because it’s simply too expensive for them to be able to foot the bill.
In a decision seen as a power grab by the Congoese leader, budget minister Pierre Kangudia Mbayi says the estimated $1.8bn needed to carry out all the activities associated with the elections would be difficult for the government to mobilise.
Joseph Kabila, son of former leader Laurent, took over power after his father’s death in 2001, and was supposed to step down last year after his two terms run out.
But the 2016 elections were postponed till this year, with Kabila saying he would not step down until a new President is elected. That decision sparked public protests which led to clashes between the people and the police and military, leading to numerous deaths.
However, despite the delay which has created such chaos, Kabila’s government is now floating the idea the elections might never come on, due to the supposed ‘cost’ of it.
The country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) submitted the $1.8bn cost to the government, citing the vastness of the country, its poor road networks and other challenges.