DRC GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO SPEECH BY CENI PRESIDENT CORNEILLE NANGAA
KINSHASA—Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Minister of Communication and Media Lambert Mende today released the following statement responding to a speech by Mr. Corneille Nangaa, President of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI):
“The government welcomes the statement by CENI President Corneille Nangaa to update interested parties, the Congolese public and international observers on the status of technical measures in preparation for upcoming gubernatorial and presidential elections.
“One year ago, the CENI published an electoral calendar that established a timeline of activities to be completed in preparation for several elections in the DRC, including the election of our nation’s president. While technical in nature, some of these activities are dependent on – and must be guided by – certain political decisions, including those regarding voter eligibility,
the allocation of funds to carry out elections, and legal authorities conveyed by our parliament.
“Recognizing the significance of these decisions and the importance of seeking consensus on them, President Joseph Kabila in May called on all political parties to join in a national dialogue focused on creating an environment for a peaceful electoral process. The government noted at that time that all stakeholders — the CENI, the government, political parties, civil society, donors and international partners — have a role in ensuring the proper execution of our electoral mandate.
“Since May, President Kabila has consulted with all of these stakeholders, as well as with the United Nations and African Union, to advance a national dialogue at the earliest date. During this period, the government also refrained from taking actions that would unilaterally impact the electoral process, so as not to undermine efforts to achieve the desired consensus on the political environment going forward.
“Regrettably, certain entities have not yet agreed to participate in this dialogue.
“The President remains committed to a dialogue and political consensus, but also recognizes the government’s ultimate responsibility to the Congolese people – which is to respect the Constitution and allow the CENI to continue preparations for upcoming elections. The government therefore allocated US$300 million for 2016 last week for the CENI to move forward with technical measures that do not preempt decisions we hope can still be made as part of a national dialogue.”
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