Felix Tshisekedi, the leader of the political opposition party UDPS (Union for Democracy and Social Progress), is scheduled to return from Europe to the capital Kinshasa on Saturday, November 24. Gatherings at Ndjili International Airport (FIH) to welcome him are likely. A heightened security presence, as well as significant transportation disruptions around the airport, are also likely.
Opposition leaders are coming back from Geneva, where they had met to nominate a single candidate for the December 23 elections. Martin Fayulu of the Engagement for Citizenship and Development (ECiDé) was nominated on November 11 following negotiations among leaders of the seven opposition parties. However, Tshisekedi and Vital Kamerhe, of the UNC (Union for the Congolese Nation), pulled out of the coalition following protests in Kinshasa on November 12 by supporters of both parties denouncing the choice of Fayulu. They will therefore run their own candidates.
The official electoral campaign period began November 22. President Joseph Kabila, whose second term officially ended in December 2016, will not be running himself. He is backing former Interior Minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari.
Individuals in the DRC are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and obey any instructions issued by the local authorities.
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