Presidential politics in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) parliamentarians on January 25 voted to remove a clause in an electoral reform bill requiring that a census be conducted before presidential elections take place -- which by delaying the poll would extend President Joseph Kabila's rule beyond 2016 (when his term ends). His allies, led by Interior Minister Evariste Boshab and intelligence chief Kalev Mutond, are now seeking alternative means to extend Kabila's tenure.
- The FDLR rebels' failure to disarm will trigger a counter-insurgency offensive -- led by South African, Congolese and Tanzanian forces.
- The global copper supply glut's downward pressure on prices will hurt export revenues and dampen mining prospects in Katanga province.
- Proposals to raise mining royalties and increase compulsory state stakes in new mining ventures could depress investor appetite.