AFRICA/CONGO RD - "Presidential elections in 2018": for the Bishops they are possible, for the US they must be held

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 bishops   elections  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - Presidential elections are to be held by 2018. This is a point where both the Bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo and US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley agree on. On 27 October, Ms. Haley met His Exc. Mgr. Marcel Utembi Tapa, Archbishop of Kisangani and President of the Congregation of National Congregation (CENCO), and His Exc. Mgr. Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, Archbishop of Mbandaka-Bikoro and Vice President of CENCO, in Kinshasa.
The ambassador affirmed that the United States will not offer any support to the DRC if the elections are not held by next year. Don Donatien Nshole, Secretary General of CENCO, stressed that it is possible to hold elections by 2018 if all political parties demonstrate good will.
According to what Fr. Mbumba Prosper, Congolese missionary of the Immaculate Heart of the Congregation of Mary told Agenzia Fides, on October 27, the Center on Missionary Animation in Kinshasa (CIAM) organized a talk about the political stalemate that the country has been living since December 20, when the second mandate (and last, according to the Constitution) of President Joseph Kabila expired, without new elections being held. The Bishops withdrew from political mediation after their mediated agreement, the so-called San Silvestro Agreement of December 31, 2016, was ignored. Don Nshole, however, emphasized that the Bishops continue to seek, together with international partners, a solution to the crisis. The Secretary General of CENCO also explained that the Church did not fail in its mediation. The San Silvestro Agreement provided for the formation of a national unity government that would have led the DRC to the elections by 2017. The government that was formed does not include a major part of the opposition and was unable to prepare the vote. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 31/10/2017)