The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) marathon road towards presidential elections was set to reach a key stage on Wednesday with the publication of officially vetted candidates for the December 23 poll in which two heavyweight contenders have been sidelined. More than two dozen people registered their bid with the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), a much-contested panel tasked with overseeing the ballot in one of the Africa’s biggest and most unstable nations. It is expected to give the green light to opposition figures Felix Tshisekedi and Vital Kamerhe, as well as to Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, a hardline former interior minister backed by President Joseph Kabila. But the list is also set to confirm the exclusion of former warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba and regional baron Moise Katumbi — a move that raised howls of protest from their powerful blocs of supporters. Bemba lashed what he calls a "parody of an election". He accused Kabila — whom critics characterise as ...

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