UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called Democratic Republic of the Congo President Joseph Kabila's decision not to run for reelection "progress."
Guterres' deputy spokesman, Farhan Haq, told reporters at a regular briefing that they did take note of the government's announcement that Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary had been designated as the ruling coalition's candidate for the presidency.
"We welcome the continued progress toward the holding of free, fair and peaceful elections on Dec. 23 in accordance to the Constitution," said Haq.
A former interior minister, Shadary is now the permanent secretary of the People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy.
Shadary's nomination as the presidential candidate ends several months of rumors about the future of Kabila, whose second and last term expired at the end of 2016.
Kabila, 47, has been in office since 2001, replacing his assassinated father Laurent Kabila.
Officials from the European Union, the United States and several regional countries have objected to his running for a third term.