Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "Local elections are the foundation for the exercise of basic democracy and decentralization sanctioned by the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo", states the joint declaration of the Catholic Bishops' National Episcopal Conference of the Congo (CENCO) and of the Église du Christ au Congo (ECC) to launch a petition yesterday, May 28, to demand local elections by the end of December 2019.
The two religious confessions, which have sent their own election observers for the presidential and legislative votes of December 30th, underline that since the promulgation of the Constitution of February 18th 2006, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has never seen a complete cycle of elections and this, in violation of the same Constitution.
After recalling that the deadline set in the electoral calendar published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), which provided that local elections were to be held on March 18, 2019, was not respected, the statement states that the current system of appointing the leaders of the decentralized territorial entities "is contrary to the Constitution and favors cronyism, corruption, misappropriation of local revenues and taxes and, consequently, lack of provision of services in favor of the population".
"We invite the entire Congolese population and men and women of good will, who are concerned about the development of our decentralized entities, to sign the petition that will be presented to them by local animators in neighborhoods, parishes, schools, markets, to request the organization of local elections before the end of 2019", the message concludes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 29/5/2019)