The embattled president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Kabila will not be participating in upcoming elections.
Kabila’s second term officially ended in 2016 but he refused to stepdown sparking violence and delayed elections.
On Tuesday the country’s prime minister, Bruno Tshibala said Kabila will not run, according to Reuters.
Why is Kabila not running?
Tshibala said President Kabila is not eligible constitutionally to seek a third term and that he will respect the constitution.
“The elections are going to take place without the participation of President Kabila who will abide by the spirit and the letter of the constitution,” Tshibala is quoted as saying.
December’s elections will be crucial for DR Congo as tensions are high with opposition figures accusing Kabila of wanting to prolong his stay in power.
He is yet to declare publicly that he won’t run again despite appeals for him to do so. Joseph Kabila took over as president from his father Laurent who was assassinated in 2001.
Last month the United Nations asked DRC to lift current ban on demonstrations and for the government to relax its stance on protests.
The government under Joseph Kabila imposed the ban ahead of elections.