The African Union has called on the Democratic Republic of Congo to ensure peaceful, transparent and truly inclusive elections come December.
The Chairperson of the Commission Moussa Faki stressed that the fulfillment of these requirements will guarantee the credibility of the electoral process.
He also emphasized the need for the rights and freedoms of all Congolese voters be respected and a level electoral playing field be ensured.
The statement was issued after opposition leader Moise Katumbi was blocked from returning home last week to file his bid.
Katumbi who has been living in self-imposed exile was barred from entering the DRC and charged with offences against state security.
Meanwhile, former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba, acquitted in June of war crimes returned home last week to submit his candidacy for the upcoming polls.
His homecoming after serving a decade in prison at The Hague could dramatically shake up Congolese politics ahead of the long-delayed election, which is meant to choose a successor to Joseph Kabila.
DRC is due to hold presidential elections in December and candidates must be in the country to lodge their applications before a deadline on 8 August.
The country has never known a peaceful transition of power since it gained independence in 1960.[Source: Africa News]