Joseph Kabila has been in power since 2001 taking over from his father Laurent who was assassinated in office.
After years of refusing to stepdown, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Joseph Kabila agreed to exit power this year.
He will not stand for December’s presidential election after the ruling coalition picked a new candidate for the polls.
But Mr. Kabila says he doesn’t rule out seeking re-election in 2023 once he takes a break from politics in the coming couple of years.
December’s elections will be crucial for DR Congo as tensions are high with opposition figures accusing Kabila of wanting to prolong his stay in power.
He told Reuters that “In life as in politics, I don’t rule out anything” hinting of a comeback in future. “Why don’t we wait for 2023 … to envision anything,” he added.
President Kabila was supposed to step down in 2016 when his constitutional mandate expired. Delayed elections have heightened tension and sparked conflicts.
Should he seek re-election in 2023, he will be eligible since he will be taking a break.
Candidates hoping for victory in the upcoming elections have already launched their campaigns.