UN calls on DRC to defuse political situation ahead of elections

July 18, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

By

Darell Maurice

The head of the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) last week urged the Congolese authorities to “defuse” the situation in order to create favorable conditions for political dialogue in the remaining months before President Joseph Kabila‘s term comes to an end.

“I continue to encourage the Congolese authorities to take steps to defuse the current situation,” said the head of MONUSCO Maman Sidikou at a press conference in the nation’s capital Kinshasa.

“If there are prisoners of conscience, expanding to create the conditions for a peaceful dialogue,” added Sidikou, indicating there is also the possibility of granting “action of grace.”

In late November, Kabila convened a “national dialogue” to enable the organization of “peaceful elections,” a proposal seen by most of the opposition as a “trap.”

Mr. Sidikou urged the opposition not to “inflame tensions” by showing “responsibility in exercising rights and freedoms” to avoid the country “plunging into violence with disastrous consequences.”

Less than six months of the end of the term of President Kabila, considered a “turning point” by the UN, the political climate is tense between the majority and the opposition because of the uncertainty of a very likely postponement of the presidential elections expected to take place before the end of the year.

Under the Constitution, Mr. Kabila, in power since 2001 and whose term ends in December, has no right to represent himself.

The opposition accuses the head of state, which maintains a blur around his intentions and his future policy, to seek to do everything to stay as head of the country beyond the end of his term, even delaying the holding of presidential elections.

A recent decision of the Constitutional Court authorized in this case the president to remain in office until the election of his successor.

The opposition, which considers this decision as null and void, for months accuses Kabila of seeking to betray the constitution to remain in power.

The head of MONUSCO urged the majority and the opposition “to do everything to preserve  constitutional order, democracy and human rights.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Darell Maurice

Darell Maurice is a Journalist based in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital city Kinshasa and works for Canal7kintv. He also blogs here.

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