The Democratic Republic of Congo’s ruling party and opposition have reacted to a joint statement released on Tuesday by the African Union, United Nations, European Union and the International Organization of La Francophonie on the country’s impending elections.
The statement urged the country to hold timely elections following news that its November polls might be postponed. But the seeming political overtones of the statement were not warmly received by the state players.
“The four partner organisations underline the crucial importance of these elections, whose peaceful, transparent, smooth and timely conduct would greatly contribute to consolidating the progress made in the DRC for more than a decade….organisations underscore the importance of dialogue and the search for an agreement between political actors that respects democracy and the rule of law,” said the statement.
General Secretary of the ruling People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD), Henri Mova, said he was stunned external forces are telling the DRC what to do and what not to do.
“When there are problems, we sit around the table, we discuss it and we find responsible solutions,” he said.
Mova said the international community should realize that the Burkinabe and Libyan way [intervention] is impossible in the DRC, adding that they should not set deadlines for a sovereign country.
The statement further urged political actors to cooperate with the UN’s Special Envoy, Edem Kodjo, who was rejected by opposition parties in January, because they felt the mediation was a ploy to keep president Joseph Kabila in power.
Martin Fayulu, leader of the opposition party Engagement for Citizenship and Development said their decision not to participate in an inclusive dialogue with the government remained unchanged.
“No, we have already given an answer to Mr. Edem Kodjo and I believe we will not change it. And yes…. the international community understands us. Because what we say here, comes from the people,” he said.
A previous UN-appointed mediator, Said Djinnit, was also rejected by the opposition.