AFRICA/DR CONGO - "National dialogue within the month of August in order not to worsen tensions" ask the Bishops

Thursday, 4 August 2016 elections   bishops  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - The Congolese political life is focused on the clash between President Joseph Kabila, who now seems determined to stay in office even after the expiry date of his second term, on December 20, and his main opponent Etienne Tshisekedi, who in a meeting on 31 July sent "a three-month eviction notice" starting from September 19, the date of the convening of the electorate, in view of the presidential elections (see Fides 03/08/2016).
The date of the presidential elections has not been set yet and it seems that Kabila’s mandate will go beyond its expiry date. An interim which is likely, fears the opposition, to turn into a kind of life office for Kabila.
Due to tensions, already on July 22, in a press release, the Bishops of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) had asked "all the politicians to gather around a table for sincere national dialogue, which has become the inevitable way to relaunch the electoral process in accordance with the Constitution and to avoid, in this way, chaos. Given the urgency, we ask them to hold this dialogue within the month of August. Any postponement would only worsen tensions. The preconditions placed on one side or the other will find an answer in the context of the Preparatory Committee of dialogue. It is essential to prioritize what contributes to democracy and peace, rather than worrying about seat of power or personal or party interests". (L.M.) Agenzia Fides 04/08/2016)