Congo Lawmakers Delay Vote on First Census in About 40 Years

Lawmakers in the Democratic Republic of Congo postponed a vote that would have allowed the government to conduct the first census in about 40 years after politicians clashed inside the National Assembly.

Police fired tear gas into a crowd of protesters outside the National Assembly, Radio Okapi reported. Inside, opposition politicians disrupted proceedings, according to state television.

The opposition, including the National Congolese Union, have said that President Joseph Kabila will use the census to delay presidential elections next year. Kabila, who came to power after his father was killed in 2001, won contested elections in 2006 and 2011. The constitution bars him from running for a third term.

Kabila reorganized the military in September and named a new cabinet last month that included politicians from smaller opposition parties. The government has been battling local and foreign militias in the east for more than two decades and has been trying to recover from civil wars that ended in 2003 and killed millions of people.

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