DRC – Constitutional amendment

There has been a controversial amendment to the constitution in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The text of the changes are available in French here.

The key change is that the presidential election will now be held on the basis of a single-ballot plurality system rather than the previous two-round system. This reform is thought to help the prospects of the incumbent president, Joseph Kabila. An additional reform allows the president to decide whether or not to submit a constitutional amendment to a referendum.

The constitutional reform, particularly the electoral aspect, was very divisive. It was passed by a parliamentary congress, comprising senators and deputies. The vote was 485 in favour, 8 against and 11 abstentions. However, opposition parties boycotted the vote. There are 608 deputies and senators in total.

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