Former U.S. Ambassador and one-time Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Herman Cohen has described as a “big disappointment,” after President Joseph Kabila failed to assure him of stepping down.
Cohen, revealed in a tweet on Monday that, President Kabila, during a meeting with him last thursday, refused to rule out standing, when next elections are held in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“I met with Kabila last Thursday at his request. He refused to give me assurance he will not run for DRC president again. Big disappointment,” Cohen’s tweet read on Monday.
The 46 year old president was supposed to step down last December 20 at the end of his second term, as constitutionally mandated. But he refused, setting off large demonstrations that later turned chaotic and violent.
Kabila has served for 16 years including the constitutionally mandated two-term limit, and holds the majority in parliament.
He was barred from contesting for another term according to a peace deal brokered by an influential body of Roman Catholic bishops, the National Episcopal Conference of Congo.
Since then, President Kabila has reshuffled his cabinet, choosing a major opposition figure, Bruno Tshibala, as prime minister.
The DR. Congo government had earlier revealed that presidential elections are likely not to take place this year, due to lack of the necessary $1.8bn for the exercise.