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Congo opposition files lawsuit to stop president from running in upcoming election

[JURIST] A Congolese opposition group, the Holy Alliance, has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to ban Democratic Republic of Congo [JURIST news archive] President Joseph Kabila [Wikipedia profile] from running in this year's general elections, the first democratic elections in Congo since 1960, because of his ties to the military. According to the Alliance, Kabila, who succeeded his father after his assassination in 2001, is prohibited from presidential candidacy by the constitutional referendum passed in December 2005 [JURIST report] that makes army, police and civil service workers ineligible to seek public office unless they procure a letter from the government indicating that they have been dismissed from service.

The Congolese Independent Election Commission announced the list of presidential candidates [Xinhua report] last week, and contends that Kabila was accepted because he was not on a list provided by the military. Kabila was a major-general in the Congolese army before assuming his father's office and the Alliance believes he does not have requisite permission from the army to run for office. The DRC Supreme Court is expected to rule on the Alliance's petition soon. Reuters has more.

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