AFRICA/DR CONGO - Despite a UN Resolution the government in Kinshasa insists on the postponement of presidential elections

Thursday, 14 April 2016 elections   un  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - Clash between the UN and the government in Kinshasa on the next elections. On 30 March the UN Security Council approved Resolution 2277, which calls on the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to quickly elaborate an economic plan and a code of conduct for the elections, so that the elections, in particular the presidential and legislative elections in November 2016, can take place within the time established by the Constitution.
The Congolese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Raymond Tshibanda, however, has said that in the current political context of the DRC, the insistence of the United Nations on the organization of presidential elections within constitutional time "borders on irresponsibility", adding that "the most important thing is that these elections are conducted in conditions of peace".
"The statement of the Foreign Minister may be surprising, but it clearly reveals the thinking of the Congolese political class in power: what commonly is considered a responsible attitude becomes something that "borders on irresponsibility" and, conversely, irresponsibility replaces responsibility. To demand respect for election deadlines provided for in the Constitution becomes a sign of irresponsibility and to postpone the elections due to lack of preparation becomes a sign of responsibility", comments a note sent to Agenzia Fides by the "Peace Network for Congo".
"The Government - continues the note - knows that, constitutionally, elections are held every five years and the fact that they have failed to prepare them in time denotes its apparent inability to govern the country and its contempt for democracy. In fact, the postponement of the elections deprives, at least temporarily, the people of their constitutional right to vote and at the same time, reveals the awkward attempt of the Presidential Majority of wanting to keep in power the current President, violating the Constitution itself that, in Article 70 states, in a very clear manner, indicates the number and duration of each mandate".
The president of the Electoral Commission, Corneille Nangaa, reiterated once again the difficulties that make, according to him, "it impossible to hold elections within the time established by the Constitution". The Network for Peace in Congo suggests that the political opposition, civil society and the international community must absolutely continue to demand from the Congolese government a precise payment plan of the necessary funds to finance the organization of the elections. (LM) (Agenzia Fides 14/04/2016)