Catholic Church suggest postponing local elections in DRC

July 2, 2015 OPINION/NEWS



Darell Maurice

Gathered during their 52nd full assembly in Kinshasa, members of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) recommended that local elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, both municipal and urban, scheduled for January 2016, be deferred until 2017.

Priority must be given, according to them, to the provincial, parliamentary and presidential elections. This structure of the Catholic Church confirmed its position in a recent press release given to local media:

“The local elections, municipal and urban could be held in 2017 by giving time and resources to better prepare for them ” Secretary General of CENCO, Abbot Leonard Santedi stated.

The calendar published last February by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) confirmed that national presidential and legislative elections were to be held in November 2016, with those for MLAs, municipal councilors and the advisory sector set for October 2015. Elections for Senators elected in the second degree are scheduled for January 2016, the same month as that for urban councilors, mayors, sector heads, Governors and Deputy Governors. The elections for deputy mayors and mayors had been scheduled for March 2016.

Father Santedi insisted that the announced dialogue can not upset neither in its letter nor spirit all that is envisaged in the Constitution of the Republic: “Neither in its accomplishment, or in its findings and recommendations, the dialogue envisaged may not directly or indirectly upset the letter and spirit of the Constitution of the Republic, nor ignore the republican institutions provided for her.”

Received in an earlier audience by Congolese Head of State Joseph Kabila in the presidential consultations on national dialogue, CENCO’s secretary general stated that dialogue remained a royal and peaceful way to end the crisis in the DRC.

To pass the electoral process, the Catholic prelate advocated securing elections and candidates, but also the mobilisation of funds beforehand.

On the same day, the legal representative of the Islamic Community of Congo (CIC), Imam Ali Mwinyi called on all political actors to sit around the same table to find solutions to the problems of the country.







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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