DRC: Bishops Commend Political Deal between Govt and Opposition

KINSHASA JANUARY 3, 2017(CISA) – National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) has lauded the deal by the political parties calling for election at the end of the year.

Archbishop Marcel Utembi Tapa, President of CENCO hailed the progress but acknowledged the challenges in implementation of the deal.

“It’s one thing to have a political compromise but putting it into place is another,” Vatican Radio quoted Archbishop Tapa as saying.

The parties signed a deal December 31, 2016 that calls for President Joseph Kabila to leave power after an election that will be held end of the year instead of mid-2018 as his party originally proposed.

The Bishops mediated the talks to reach a compromise. Initially, the Bishops had imposed a Christmas deadline.

President Kabila was elected in 2001 after the assassination of his father and was constitutionally barred from seeking another term after his mandate expired on December 19, 2016.

However, no presidential election was held in November, and a court ruled he could stay in office until such a ballot could be organized.

President Kabila’s The People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD) said that elections were not possible before mid-2018 because of logistical and financial challenges in organising the vote.

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