Main opposition candidate in the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, Martin Fayulu is decrying intimidation on the campaign trail as the country nears the December 23 general elections.
Fayulu, leader of the Lamuka coalition on Monday tweeted that his plane had been refused clearance to take off towards Kindu, capital of the Maniema province where he is due to campaign.
“It’s getting unbearable,” stranded Fayulu stated. He kicked off his campaign last week in Beni in the North Kivu province and also in the town of Goma.
The Fayulu campaign drew thousands of people during the day and even during campaign stops in the evening. The candidate shared his vision of a new DRC if elected President.
An exiled member of the five-man Lamuka coalition and former Katanga governor, Moise Katumbi had last week tweeted about intimidation of Fayulu after his entourage were blocked in Goma.View image on Twitter
On nous bloque à Goma.
The authorities have yet to issue an official explanation for the incident. Other aspirants busy on the campaign trail include the ruling coalition candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.
Felix Tshisekedi, son of a deceased veteran opposition leader is also leading a coalition that involves another political heavyweight Vital Kemerhe.
The duo were initially part of the Lamuka coalition agreed in Geneva under the auspices of the Kofi Annan Foundation. They withdrew barely twenty-four hours later and weeks later announced a coalition in Nairobi, Kenya.
There are twenty-one aspirants in the race. Twenty men and a woman running to replace Kabila, the two coalitions have effectively reduced the number to eighteen.
Kabila who has been in power since 2001 agreed to step down in August this year.The ruling coalition replaced him as candidate for the long-delayed polls.
All things being equal, it will be the first time that the DRC experiences peaceful handover of political authority. Previous cases have been tainted with ousters and assassinations.
The opposition, the Catholic Church, activists and international community have cautioned against an electronic voting machine but the elections body, CENI and the ruling party have defended it saying it was reliable.