EU set to prolong sanctions against Congo election candidate

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is set next week to prolong sanctions against Congolese President Joseph Kabila's chosen successor just two weeks before a historic election in the resource-rich Central African country.

EU officials confirmed Friday that travel bans and asset freezes will be renewed against Congo's ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary and 15 other people.

The move is expected to occur without debate at a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday.

Shadary was sanctioned by the EU last year for obstructing Congo's electoral process and a crackdown against protesters angry over the long-delayed vote.

The EU says he was "involved in planning, directing, or committing acts that constitute serious human rights violations."

The election is scheduled for Dec. 23. It could be Congo's first peaceful, democratic transfer of power.