February 12, 2015 / 4:59 PM / 3 years ago

Congo presidential election set for November 27, 2016: commission

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo’s election commission has set Nov. 27, 2016, for presidential and legislative elections, an official said on Thursday, satisfying a key demand of the political opposition and international donors.

Joseph Kabila Kabange, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

President Joseph Kabila, who has held power since his father’s assassination in 2001 and won disputed elections in 2006 and 2011, is constitutionally barred from standing for a third term. But critics say he intends to cling to power beyond the end of his mandate next year.

Kabila has refused to comment on his future, saying it is a distraction from his political agenda. A government spokesman has said that the president intends to respect the constitution.

Protests erupted last month, killing at least 42 people and forcing lawmakers to drop an electoral reform bill that the opposition said was aimed at keeping Kabila in power.

Reporting by Aaron Ross; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Janet Lawrence, Larry King

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