AFRICA/DR CONGO - Election Crisis: waiting for the outcome of the mediation carried out by the Bishops with the opposition

Thursday, 3 November 2016 bishops   elections  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - The Democratic Republic of Congo is waiting for the announcement of a possible agreement between all political forces in order to overcome the political crisis for the failed presidential elections that were to take place within December. The Catholic Bishops proposed themselves as mediators and negotiations are under way at the Inter-diocesan Centre in Kinshasa, with the representatives of "Le Rassemblement," the opposition parties group that supports the candidacy of Etienne Tshisekedi.
The presidential majority and a part of the opposition had reached an agreement to hold elections by April 2018, with incumbent President Joseph Kabila who assured the interim (see Fides 18/10/2016). This agreement was however rejected by "Le Rassemblement".
According to rumors, the agreement that "Le Rassemblement" is willing to sign implies the acceptance of keeping Kabila as President of a transition period which will have to be as short as possible, to be completed by the end of 2017 with presidential elections. Kabila must also commit himself not to stand for election, as provided by the current Constitution which provides only two presidential terms. "Le Rassemblement" also calls for the release of political prisoners and an end to restrictions on individual freedoms.
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos is involved in the negotiations and has sent his own emissary to Tshisekedi. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 03/11/2016)