Congo Presidential Candidate Says Election Set to Be Delayed

(Bloomberg) -- A presidential candidate in the Democratic Republic of Congo said the country’s electoral commission plans to postpone elections scheduled for Dec. 23.

National Independent Electoral Commission President Corneille Nangaa met candidates or their representatives earlier on Thursday to inform them of the delay, Tryphon Kin-Kiey, an independent candidate, said by phone. Nangaa is due to address a media briefing in the capital, Kinshasa, this afternoon.

The electoral commission said it has a “technical incapacity to organize the elections on Dec. 23,” and didn’t provide a new date, Kin-Kiey said. A spokeswoman for CENI, as the electoral authority is known, declined to comment before the meeting finished.

The ballot is being held two years late after CENI failed to organize it on time. The copper- and cobalt-rich central African nation hasn’t had a democratic transfer of power since it gained independence in 1960.

Last week, a fire damaged one of the warehouses CENI uses to store election materials needed for Kinshasa.

“All sources indicate” that Nangaa is planning a delay, Paul Tshilumbu, a spokesman for opposition presidential candidate Felix Tshisekedi, said by phone.

The other main opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu, told reporters on Wednesday he won’t accept any plans to delay the vote.

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