AFRICA/CONGO DR - "No to indirect elections", say the Bishops who fear fraud and manipulation

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo are contrary to the hypothesis of indirect vote to elect mayors, councilors and provincial deputies, as proposed by the President of the Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), Father Malu Malu.
The Bishops’ position was announced in a statement issued on 3 March in Kinshasa.
"The Bishops - said Don Leonard Santedi, Secretary General of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo, CENCO at a press conference - believe that the hypothesis of provincial or municipal elections by indirect suffrage is not suitable to consolidate our democracy".
Indirect election calls for citizens to vote "great electors" who in turn will proceed to elect administrators and deputies. The Bishops are concerned that this procedure will increase the possibility of fraud and manipulation through the corruption of the "great electors".
"We want municipal, urban and local elections to be carried out through indirect suffrage, in order to consolidate our democracy but also to allow the population to exercise its right recognized by the population", say the Bishops in their statement.
CENCO finally, calls for provincial elections to be organized in the first quarter of 2015 in order to conclude the election cycle which began in 2011, and then proceed, in 2016, with the presidential election. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 04/03/2014)