Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary

The European Union has prolonged sanctions against Congolese President Joseph Kabila’s chosen successor just two weeks before a historic election in the resource-rich central African country.

EU headquarters said on Monday that travel bans and asset freezes will be renewed for a year against Democratic Republic of Congo’s ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary and 13 other people.

Shadary was sanctioned by the EU last year for obstructing DRC’s electoral process and a crackdown against protesters angry over the long-delayed vote.

The decision, taken by EU foreign ministers in Brussels, could be reviewed “in the light of and following” the elections, scheduled for December 23.

It could be DRC’s first peaceful, democratic transfer of power. The opposition fears that Kabila, who has ruled since 2001, will assert power behind the scenes if Shadary wins.

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