On Saturday, August 25, the National Electoral Commission (CENI) in Kinshasa is scheduled to release a provisional list of presidential candidates eligible to run in the December 23 election. Protests are possible in response to any elimination of candidates, and a heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected near any demonstration sites. Clashes between protesters and police cannot be ruled out.
Numerous related protests have occurred throughout the country since the August 8 deadline to submit candidacy for the presidential election, scheduled to be held on December 23.
President Joseph Kabila, whose term ended in December 2016, has announced he will not run for re-election. Kabila has come out in support of his political ally, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who is permanent secretary of the ruling People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD). Prominent opposition leader Moïse Katumbi attempted to return to the DRC twice to register as a candidate but was turned away by immigration officials.
Individuals in the DRC, particularly in Kinshasa, should monitor the situation, maintain a high degree of situational awareness, and avoid all rallies and demonstrations due to the risk of violence.
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