By our reporter

Democratic Republic of Congo president Joseph Kabila has agreed not to run for president this year, according to unofficial reports.

Kabila has been holding onto power despite calls from especially the Catholic church, opposition leaders and donor countries that he leaves office.

This website now understands that Kabila will not see re-election, and he has picked his former interior minister Ramazani Shadari to run on his party’s ticket.

Shadari is unfortunately under European Union sanctions, and stands accused of planning, directing and committing serious human rights violations in December 2016. The EU says according to Human Rights Watch, Shadari failed to stop excessive use of force by the army and police in Kasai region as well as crackdown of opposition leaders and their supporters of Bundu dia Mayala movement in Central Congo and Kinshasa in January and February 2017 in which 20 people were killed. He is also accused to attempting to frustrate investigations into over 40 graves of Congolese citizens.

Observers say in Shadari, Kabila sees a same feather to protect him as he leaves power. Shadari has been a loyal servant to him and his late father the late Laurent.