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DRC Parliament drops contested part of election bill: Speaker

The Democratic Republic of Congo`s lower house of parliament on Saturday agreed to scrap a contested part of an electoral bill that would have enabled President Joseph Kabila to extend his grip on power and that triggered days of deadly protests.



Kinshasa: The Democratic Republic of Congo`s lower house of parliament on Saturday agreed to scrap a contested part of an electoral bill that would have enabled President Joseph Kabila to extend his grip on power and that triggered days of deadly protests.

National Assembly speaker Aubin Minaku told AFP the controversial provision that would have delayed 2016 polls by making them depend on a census would be withdrawn from the planned legislation, which lawmakers will put to a vote in coming days.

The Senate already unanimously agreed to back down on the census issue on Friday, but the National Assembly has the final word on the matter.

Anger at the proposed legislation prompted bloody confrontations between anti-Kabila protesters and police this week that left at least 40 people dead.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Saturday that it had confirmed 36 dead in protests in the capital Kinshasa, 21 of whom were fatally shot by security forces, and four dead in the eastern city of Goma.

Speaker Minaku said there had been "no question of violating the constitution" and accused the opposition of fomenting the unrest.

From Zee News

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