DR Congo: Lay Catholics Issue Ultimatum

DR Congo: Lay Catholics Issue Ultimatum

August 8th is the deadline for candidates for the coming presidential elections in DR Congo to declare their candidacy

As far as the election process is concerned, we are now at the stage of nominating candidates, but nothing has been done to ensure that the election will take place in proper conditions.

As an example, we can point to a dubious voters’ registry, which includes more than 6 million voters without digital fingerprints.

Also international experts have been suspiciously excluded from the process, voting machines are being imposed, overseas Congolese are excluded from voting, the judicial apparatus is being manipulated and there is a strained political climate.

The other observation that concerns us is that the head of state, who has said for years that he will not be a candidate, has allowed his lieutenants to declare him as a candidate.

(Prof Isidore Ndaywel, member of the Lay Coordination Committee, in interview with La Croix International)

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – “Since the peace and stability of the country as well as that of the region are being threatened, on 9 August the Lay Coordination Committee will launch an appeal to the general mobilization of all the nation’s living forces for a series of demonstrations that will be held on 12, 13, 14 August”, announced Isidore Ndaywel, member of the Lay Coordination Committee (CLC), the lay structure of the Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo, that since the beginning of the year has promoted a series of demonstrations aimed at holding the presidential elections in full compliance with the St. Silvestro Agreements, with the mediation of the Bishops, on 31 December 2016.
The Lay Coordination Committee has accused Kabila of wanting to seek a third term of office despite a constitutional prohibition that should have prevented him from becoming a candidate following the end of his second term on Dec. 20, 2016.
The electoral machine has started but there are fears related to some decisions taken by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), which are the object of the demonstrations threatened by the CLC for the month of August. CLC’s requests include: total and immediate withdrawal of electronic election machines, deemed unreliable; the implementation of the recommendations recently presented by the International Organization of Francophonie (OIF) concerning the electoral lists, which include 6 million members whose fingerprints have not been registered, and the implementation of the measures of political reassurance provided for in the St. Silvestro Agreements, such as the release of political opponents. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 11/7/2018)

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