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Bill Limit Presidential Candidate Eligibility Requirements-Congo

Legislators in Congo Have Introduced a Bill to Limit Presidential Candidate Eligibility Requirements

Lawmakers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) presented a measure on Thursday that aims to restrict presidential contenders' eligibility requirements. The bill's main proponent is Noel Tshiani, a close supporter of President Felix Tshisekedi who wants to severely limit the criteria for presidential candidacy.

The need that a presidential candidate be a citizen whose parents are both Congolese nationals is one of the most important requirements. The primary justification given by the bill's sponsors is the necessity to protect the country's sovereignty and avoid outside influence and intervention.

The move has been attacked by opponents of the law, who argue that it disenfranchises Congolese citizens with foreign parents.

In particular, the DRC legislature has pledged to follow international human rights treaties in its constitutional preamble. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is ratified by the country. Article 25 underlines that everyone has the right to vote or be elected by universal suffrage to participate in the administration of public affairs. The law, which is expected to have an impact on the dynamics of the general elections in 2023, is scheduled to be considered in the next weeks.