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DRC: Catholic church to mediate in political crisis

DRC: Catholic church to mediate in political crisis

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Catholic bishops in the Democratic Republic of Congo have began a series of dialogue to solve an impasse caused by uncertainty regarding the 2016 presidential election.

The bishops first met with Minaku Aubin, head of the National Assembly and secretary general of the coalition of parties that support President Joseph Kabila and later met with representatives of the opposition.

The Congolese clergy expressed concern about the stalemate in the electoral process in the Democratic Republic of Congo. “The bishops are very concerned that the electoral process is blocked,” said Father Leonard Santedi, General Secretary of CENCO.

The Constitution prohibits President Joseph Kabila, whose term ends late December 2016, to vie for another term in office in the election originally scheduled in November.

There has been uncertainty in the country since September following the invalidation of the electoral calendar by the constitutional court.

To try to overcome this impasse, President Kabila, in power since 2001, convened on November 28 a “national dialogue.”

The DRC has been in a deep political crisis since the re-election of Mr Kabila in November 2011 after elections marked by massive fraud, according to the Congolese opposition. They suspect he is seeking to stay in power beyond the end of his current mandate.