Congo President Kabila will not seek third term: DRC PM

Democratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila (L) listens to deliberations during the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) at the Commonwealth Resort Hotel Munyonyo in the capital of Kampala August 8, 2012. African leaders of the Great Lakes region say they will impose sanctions on any party obstructing peace in the volatile Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday. The decision was reached at the end of a two-day leaders summit on the conflict in Uganda. REUTERS/Edward Echwalu (UGANDA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)

MONTREAL (Reuters) – Congo’s current President Joseph Kabila will not seek a third mandate in the Central African country’s upcoming December elections because of constitutional term limits that prevent him from running again, Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala said on Tuesday.

“The elections are going to take place without the participation of President Kabila who will abide by the spirit and the letter of the constitution,” Tshibala said in an interview with Reuters on the sidelines of the International Economic Forum of the Americas, Conference of Montreal.

Tshibala’s comments follow signs in the mineral-rich Democratic Republic of Congo that Kabila, who succeeded his assassinated father Laurent in 2001, is prepared to run for a third elected term.

Tshibala said the elections are still scheduled to take place on Dec. 23.

“These elections will take place at the expected date,” he said.

Tshibala said Kabila would attend an African leaders’ meeting next week in Luanda to convey the message that Congo would respect “our commitments,” in holding the elections.