AFRICA/DR CONGO - The Bishops warn: "Do not irritate the population, proclaim the truth"

Tuesday, 8 January 2019 elections   bishops  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "It is the irregularities that would irritate the population and the most serious thing that could lead the Congolese people to revolt would be to publish results which do not conform to the truth of the polls. If there is a revolt of the population, the responsibility will be of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI)", warned His Exc. Mgr. Marcel Utembi Tapa, Archbishop of Kisangani and President of CENCO (National Episcopal Conference of Congo) in responding to the criticisms of the preliminary report of the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE-JPC/CENCO) promoted by the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace, on the presidential and political elections held on 30 December 2018.
"The content of this report has been the subject of criticism and differences of opinion", says CENCO. "Some people of bad faith have used it to discredit, to launch insults against the Bishops of CENCO and its Secretary General, Don Donatien Nshole. Others, on the other hand, found it inoffensive and very reassuring for the population".
The report of the "Justice and Peace" observers was presented on 3 January. The report states: "the MOE-JPC/CENCO has found that the data in its possession, obtained from the minutes issued by the polling stations, clearly reveal that the Congolese people have chosen a candidate as president of the republic. To this end, it is up to CENI to publish the election results in keeping with truth and justice".
The President of CENI, Corneille Nangaa, wrote to the Bishops asking for a formal denial "for having given tendencies and provisional results before the publication of the Independent National Electoral Commission".
"We can only deny what is not true. That is the truth", replied Mgr. Utembi Tapa.
The President of CENCO reiterated that the Church's only desire is to see a truly democratic Democratic Republic of Congo. "CENCO is present in the process of democratization of the Country. Its participation in elections with prepared observers derives from its task of accompanying the Country towards the full implementation of the democratic ideal", concluded Mgr. Utembi. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 8/1/2018)