DRC: Bishops Urge President Kabila to Dialogue on Elections

KINSHASA, JUNE 02, 2015(CISA) – Catholic Bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have requested President Joseph Kabila for a “national dialogue in accordance with the constitution”, where the drafting of the new electoral calendar will be agreed on.

This was after the opposition alleged that the elections expected to happen in 2016 are too dense and close, and called for a new election timetable.

According to Agenzia Fides, there are suspicions that president Kabila intends to extend his term in office that should expire in 2016.

The idea of a third term of Kabila, in violation of the Constitution, had sparked protests early this year.
The Bishops have emphasized that a national dialogue in accordance with the Constitution will be in order, to resolve the election issue.

The Head of State launched a series of meetings with political representatives, civil society and religious leaders in the DRC, including the Catholic bishops. During the meeting, representatives of The National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) Bishop Nicolas Djomo,Bishop of Tshumbe and  President of CENCO, Bishop Fulgence Muteba of Kilwa Kasenga, in Katanga  and Don Leonard Santedi ,Secretary General of CENCO, launched an appeal to establish an atmosphere of mutual trust.

After the meeting, Don Leonardo Santendi, secretary General of CENCO said, “We thanked the President of the Republic of having associated us with the consultations… For us, dialogue is the main path and peaceful way out of a crisis. It is essential to have a national consensus on the electoral calendar”, adding that, “Dialogue must be in strict compliance with the Constitution.”

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