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DR Congo Opposition Parties Begin Nationwide Strike Over Elections

Opposition supporters in the Democratic Republic of Congo began a nationwide strike Wednesday, a month after more than 50 people were killed in violent demonstrations demanding President Joseph Kabila leave power.

Congo’s main opposition alliance called on students and workers to stay home in the third such protest this year, as it attempts to maintain pressure on Kabila to step down when his second term ends on Dec. 19.

At 9 a.m., streets in the center of Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, were deserted.

A presidential election had been scheduled for November, but has been delayed until November 2018 after a political agreement between the ruling party and group of smaller opposition parties, which will run the prime minister’s office in an interim administration headed by Kabila until the vote can be held.

The rest of Congo’s opposition, including the largest party the Union for Democracy and Social Progress, have boycotted the talks and rejected the agreement, calling instead for Congo’s population of 85 million to use popular pressure to force Kabila to open more inclusive negotiations and ultimately step down.


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