DR Congo election: EU condemns expulsion of envoy Bart Ouvry
Mr Bart Ouvry
The European Union (EU) has condemned the Democratic Republic of Congo’s decision to expel its ambassador ahead of crucial elections on Sunday.
The order for Bart Ouvry to leave within 48 hours was “completely unjustified”, an EU spokeswoman said.
DR Congo said it had taken the decision in retaliation for sanctions imposed on ruling party presidential candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.
The run-up to DR Congo’s poll has been marred by violence and chaos.
On Thursday, opposition supporters ransacked an Ebola assessment centre in the eastern city of Beni to protest against the election commission’s decision to postpone the poll there and in two other areas until March.
Clashes also broke out in the opposition strongholds of Goma and Butembo, both in the east of the country.
The election commission said the poll in Beni, Butembo and the western town of Yumbi would be delayed until March because of insecurity and an Ebola outbreak in the east, which has so far claimed more than 300 lives.
With President Joseph Kabila’s successor due to be sworn in next month, it appears the votes of more than a million people could be discounted.
But in an interview with the BBC, Mr Kabila insisted that postponing the vote until after the final result was due to be declared was lawful. (BBC)