Corneille Nangaa said on Saturday that voter registration cannot be finished until after July 2017 because of logistical problems in registering the more than 30 million voters, and because of a lack of funds. Registration began on July 31.
The opposition said that President Joseph Kabila would delay the election in order to remain in power beyond his mandate, which ends in December. Mr Kabila, who has served as president since 2001, is barred from seeking a third term under Congo’s constitution.
The constitutional court in May said that if elections are delayed, the president should remain in office until a new leader is elected.
Congo has never had a peaceful transition of power.