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Congo, The Democratic Republic of the: Constitutional Amendment on Elections

(Feb. 9, 2011) On January 20, 2011, revisions of certain articles of the 2006 Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) were adopted in Kinshasa. (Law 11/002, Journal Officiel de la République Démocratique du Congo, Feb. 1, 2011, at 1 (on file with author).) The revisions are significant for the presidential elections scheduled for November 27, 2011. It was reported on January 22 that Congo's President, Joseph Kabila, had promulgated the amended text. (Kabila Promulgates Law on Single-Round Presidential Election, AFP (Jan. 22, 2011), World News Connection online subscription database, Doc. No. 201101221477.1_cc5b002b87f78d9c.)

The amendment establishes a single-round, simple-majority method of voting in the upcoming presidential contest. The political opposition was against the change, fearing that it would favor Kabila, rumored to run for another term in office. Those in favor of the amended procedure note that it will be simpler and less expensive than the existing system, which requires that the winning candidate receive an absolute majority after a second round of voting. (Id.)