Law calling for census before 2016 Congo vote clears first hurdle

January 13, 2015 12:13 PM

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Lawmakers loyal to Congolese President Joseph Kabila gave initial backing on Monday to a bill requiring a national census before a 2016 election, overcoming protests by opposition legislators who said the move would delay the vote by years.

By law, Kabila will not be able to stand for re-election next year and critics say the census is a strategy to prolong his time in office while avoiding the potentially tricky issue of constitutional change.

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