Congo publishes final list of presidential candidates

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo’s election commission has published the final list of presidential candidates for the highly anticipated Dec. 23 vote that will see President Joseph Kabila step down.

The list published late Wednesday includes at least four opposition candidates but excludes leading opposition figures Moise Katumbi and Jean-Pierre Bemba.

Twenty-one candidates are competing for the presidency, which has been occupied by Kabila since 2001. Kabila’s ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary has made the list.

Opposition leaders Felix Tshisekedi, Vital Kamerhe, Martin Fayulu and Freddy Matungulu also are candidates. It is not yet clear if the opposition will rally behind one major candidate to increase the chances of ousting the ruling party.

Elections have been delayed since 2016 as many accuse Kabila of trying to hold onto power.

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