World

Controversial proposed election law withdrawn by Congo's parliament after deadly unrest

The head of Congo's parliament says a controversial measure that led to violent street protests in the enormous country is now being withdrawn.

Aubin Minaku, president of the National Assembly, made the announcement late Saturday.

It comes a day after the Senate voted to eliminate the measure that would have required a census before next year's vote. Had it become law, it was expected to delay the 2016 presidential vote.

Critics say the proposed change to electoral law would have paved the way for President Joseph Kabila to prolong his time in power. Kabila has been president since 2001 and under current law is barred from seeking another term.

Human rights groups say dozens of people died amid the unrest and hundreds of other activists and opposition members were arrested.