All six banned DR Congo vote candidates appeal

Wednesday August 29 2018

DR Congo opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba

DR Congo opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba (centre), speaks to the press after applying to be a candidate for next presidential elections of December 23, at the office of the Independent Electoral Commission, in Kinshasa on August 2, 2018. PHOTO | JUNIOR D. KANNAH | AFP 

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All six candidates who were barred from running in DR Congo's presidential elections later this year have lodged appeals at the Constitutional Court, two of them told AFP on Tuesday.

The decision to ban six of the 25 candidates who registered to run for the presidency in December's vote was announced by the electoral commission late on Friday, which gave them until Tuesday to file an appeal.

Among those challenging the decision was former warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba, a major rival of President Joseph Kabila who returned to the DRC on August 1 to file his candidacy after being acquitted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges.

Former prime ministers Samy Badibanga, Adolphe Muzito and Antoine Gizenga, all of whom served under Kabila, were also banned, along with the sole woman candidate, Marie-Josee Ifoku Mputa who was one of the two who spoke to AFP.

The court will now deliberate the appeals, with the election commission expected to publish a final list of candidates by September 19, three months ahead of the ballot, which is scheduled to take place on December 23.