AFRICA/DR CONGO - Lay Catholics: "Concrete measures for credible elections, otherwise actions of protest"

Wednesday, 11 July 2018 elections   laity  

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)