AFRICA/DR CONGO - Postponement of the general elections; the hypothesis of a transition without Kabila or separate elections is being considered

Thursday, 20 July 2017 elections  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - The announcement on July 7 on behalf of the President of the Electoral Commission of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Corneille Nangaa, on the fact that the parameters in his possession do not allow to hold general elections by December 2017, as was envisioned in the December 31, 2016 agreement, "is no surprise", he comments in a note sent to Agenzia Fides by Peace Network for Congo.
The note recalls that the December 2017 deadline for "organizing the elections was by no means realistic" as it imposed the Grouping of the Opposition as a means of pressure on the Presidential Majority and, above all, on the President of the Republic, Joseph Kabila, who reached the end of his second and last presidential term on December 20, 2016".
The president of the Electoral Commission indicated in particular three obstacles to the election by the end of the year: the inadequacy of certain laws, including the electoral law, which should be amended and updated to allow him to continue the work of preparation of the elections; the failure to establish the National Supervisory Board of the December 31, 2016 Agreement (CNSA), also in charge of monitoring the electoral process; the situation of insecurity in certain provinces, especially in Kasai where, due to the constant clashes between the army and Kamwina Napu militiamen, the registration process of voters has not yet begun.
In the DRC there are also 500 parties, most of which are local and non-national. Therefore, the Electoral Commission highlights the need to create party coalitions to reduce the size of electoral ballots and boxes, and therefore also limit the costs of their distribution on the national territory.
Two hypotheses are being considered to overcome the crisis; a brief transition without Kabila and appointing a provisional Head of State to prepare the elections; or to organize separate elections: first the national presidential and legislation elections and then the provincial ones. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 20/7/2017)