DRC: Bishops Call for Resolution of Election Concerns to Avert Chaos

KINSHASA JULY 1, 2016 (CISA) – Catholic Bishops in the Democratic Republic of Congo have raised election concerns that threaten to plunge the country into chaos.

According to the Constitution, presidential and parliamentary elections should be held by the end of the year but so far, a date has not been established, reported Fides

“This delay stems from a deficit of good governance, from an impediment of force majeure, or the deliberate lack of political will,” the bishops said in a statement

The bishops were speaking in the 53th Plenary Assembly of the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The prelates called for respect of the constitution and electoral deadlines as prescribed, start of authentic dialogue among all political parties, commencement of social policies to alleviate the painful conditions of the population and respect for human rights.

The statement also observed that “a significant reduction of democratic space, the disturbing proliferation of human rights violations, ignoble massacres and growing insecurity in the east of the Country”.

To overcome this situation the bishops called on the nation’s leaders to respect the Constitution and accept the alternation in power as the foundation of democratic life.

The bishops urged “political forces to put an end to the delaying tactics and to discuss free, democratic and transparent elections in compliance with the Constitution.”

They further noted that they wish to accompany this process with prayers, remaining politically neutral, and with a civic education campaign to “form the conscience of the population so that it contributes to building a State of law”.

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