AFRICA/DR CONGO - The opposition opens to the mediation of Bishops and makes important concessions to the majority

Tuesday, 29 November 2016 elections   bishops  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "We encourage the steps taken by CENCO (National Episcopal Conference of Congo) to open the way for true dialogue among the sons and daughters of the Country to avoid the worst", said Jean-Marc Kabund, Secretary General of 'Union for Democracy and social Progress (UDPS), which is part of the Grouping of political and social Forces.
The Bishops are trying to mediate between "Le Rassemblement" and the signatories of the Agreement of October 18: the majority of President Joseph Kabila and part of the opposition (see Fides 18/10/2016). The objective is to reach a summary of the positions of both parties. "What this summary is still an unknown. It will probably be the result of a 'compromise' in which each party will have to give up something to get something else", says a note sent to Agenzia Fides by the "Peace Network for Congo".
The Agreement of 18 October provides for the creation of a national unity government led by a Prime Minister from the opposition who participated in the dialogue, with the primary mission of organizing the presidential elections by the end of the month of April 2018. In the implementation of the Agreement, Kabila appointed the opposition MP Samy Badibanga (see Fides 18/11/2016).
"One may wonder whether the appointment of Badibanga can contribute to the formulation of this summary of compromise. Indeed Samy Badibanga is the opposition member who participated in the dialogue and, at the same time, is a member (although disbarred or self-excluded) of a party, the UDPS, which is part of the Grouping. He could therefore be the connecting link between the two sides", said the note.
The main issue remains the political future of Kabila, the Constitution provides that he cannot candidate himself for a third term.
According to the Congolese press "Le Rassemblement" has made important concessions, including the acceptance of a period of cohabitation with Kabila during the transition that will lead to transparent elections, but without the participation of the outgoing President. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 29/11/2016)