NEWS & PRESS

PRESIDENT KABILA CALLS FOR DIALOGUE AMONG PARTIES TO ENSURE AN ENVIRONMENT CONDUCIVE TO PEACEFUL ELECTIONS

May 18, 2015 – In anticipation of local, provincial, parliamentary and presidential elections that will take place through the end of 2016, President Joseph Kabila last week called on all political parties in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to join him in a forthcoming national dialogue focused on creating an environment for a peaceful electoral process.

In February, the DRC’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) published an official electoral calendar that reaffirmed the government’s commitment to free and fair elections pursuant to terms established by the Constitution.

In a letter sent today to International Crisis Group (ICG) President Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Minister of Communications Lambert Mende conveyed the government’s view that “The timely conduct of each of these [elections] is essential to the strengthening of our democratic government.”  The Minister’s letter, responding to the ICG’s recent report, Congo: Is Democratic Change Possible?, explained 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.”

As evidenced by President Kabila’s efforts over the past week, Minister Mende affirmed that an “active dialogue among these groups has been proposed by our government, and is being pursued at this time.”

Elections set for the coming months will also benefit from financial and technical support from international partners, as the DRC puts structures and mechanisms in place that contribute to their effective implementation. Minister Mende also noted that other practical recommendations that promote a safe and peaceful election cycle for the DRC and its citizens will be considered throughout the process.

Addressing the question posed by the ICG report’s title, Minister Mende stated that “working steadfastly and collaboratively with all interested parties, the Congolese people will be able to advance the DRC’s democratic ambitions in a manner that further stabilizes and strengthens our nation for the future.”

 

The text of Minister Mende’s letter to the ICG follows.

For more information, please contact:

inquiries@drcnotes.com

 

 

Monsieur Jean-Marie Guéhenno

Président

International Crisis Group

149 Avenue Louise, Level 14
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

 

May 18, 2015

 

Dear Mr. Guéhenno:

 

I am writing on behalf of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to respond to the recent report published by the International Crisis Group (ICG) entitled, Congo: Is Democratic Change Possible? We welcome the interest by your organization and others in the DRC’s preparations and plan to successfully complete local, provincial, parliamentary and presidential elections in 2015 and 2016. The timely conduct of each of these is essential to the strengthening of our democratic government.

The ICG’s recent report rightfully acknowledges the ambitious electoral calendar our Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) announced in February, the implementation of which is necessary to fulfill our commitment to the Congolese people and Constitution.

Your report also notes 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. Its call for active dialogue among these groups has been proposed by our government, and is being pursued at this time.

Financial and technical support from the international community will also be of great importance as we put structures and mechanisms in place that contribute to the proper conduct of elections throughout the country. We encourage all contributors to provide such support expeditiously, since in past elections (most notably in 2011) certain commitments were not fulfilled.

Other practical recommendations that promote a safe and peaceful election cycle for the DRC and its citizens will be considered throughout this process.

The ICG report asks whether democratic change is possible in the DRC. We are confident that working steadfastly and collaboratively with all interested parties, the Congolese people will be able to advance the DRC’s democratic ambitions in a manner that further stabilizes and strengthens our nation for the future.

Again, we appreciate your interest in the DRC and the role that all stakeholders have in contributing to our nation’s progress. We hope that our firm commitment to implementing the DRC’s electoral calendar will be reflected in your future reporting.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lambert MENDE OMALANGA

Minister of Communications and Media of the Democratic Republic of Congo

Spokeperson for the Government