AFRICA/DR CONGO - The Bishops warn: "Without elections we will likely sink into the abyss"

Thursday, 30 June 2016 bishops   elections   politics  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - Respect of the Constitution and electoral deadlines as prescribed; start of authentic dialogue among all political parties; initiate social policies to alleviate the painful conditions of the population; respect for human rights. These are indications of the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of Congo (CENI) contained in the message published at the end of the 53th Plenary Assembly of the Congolese Bishops.
The DRC is experiencing "a worrying situation that threatens to plunge the country into chaos", says the document, sent to Agenzia Fides. "Doesn’t the current crisis stem from the block of the electoral process?" Ask the Bishops. According to the Constitution, presidential and parliamentary elections should be held by the end of the year but so far a date has not been established.
One wonders whether "this delay stems from a deficit of good governance, from an impediment of force majeure, or the deliberate lack of political will". "Dialogue, regal path in a democracy to solve problems, also seems to be an impasse" denounce the Bishops, who also complain of "a significant reduction of democratic space, the disturbing proliferation of human rights violations, ignoble massacres and growing insecurity in the east of the Country". All this, according to the message, means that "the people are sacrificed on the altar of political interests".
To overcome this situation the Bishops call on the nation's leaders to respect the Constitution and "accept the alternation in power as the foundation of democratic life".
Concretely, CENI calls on "political forces to put an end to the delaying tactics and to discuss free, democratic and transparent elections in compliance with the Constitution".
The Bishops wish to accompany this process with prayers, remaining politically neutral, and with a civic education campaign to "form the conscience of the population so that it contributes to building a State of law". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 30/06/2016)