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Africa

DRC ruling party slams French FM for 'violent antipathy' towards Kabila

media DRC President Josephu Kabila DR

The Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) ruling coalition has accused French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault of "violent antipathy" towards the country's president in an ongoing row over whether Joseph Kabila will stand for a third term in office.

The Presidential Majority (MP) coalition's spokesperson, André-Alain Atundu, on Thursday accused the French foreign minister of "expressing his antipathy towards President Kabila in a violent fashion".

Reacting to Tuesday's agreement between the ruling group and a minority opposition faction to postpone the presidential election, due this year, until 2018, Ayrault declared that the DRC is in a political crisis which can only be ended by a date being set for the election and Kabila announcing that he will not stand again.

Atundu accused Ayrault of "targeted attacks on the Congolese authorities" and interfering with Congolese soveriegnty, adding that his remarks did "consolidate the presence of French investors" in the country.

"Perhaps if our budget had allowed us to order 10 Rafale [jet fighters] or 10 battleships ... his statement would have been more affable," he added, in reference to French arms sales to countries including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and India.

The DRC's biggest oppositon party, the Rassemblement of Etienne Tshisekedi, rejected the agreement, although it calls for the establishment of a new government led by an opposition politician.

Kabila's second term in office ends on 20 December.

To read our coverage of the DRC's 2011 election click here

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