Reply To: Congo DRC Government of National Unity

Congo RDC Congolese Today Congo DRC Government of National Unity Reply To: Congo DRC Government of National Unity

#27003

The attempt to delay the elections, especially the presidential election, is the Gordian knot that led to the adoption by the US Senate of a resolution signed by Democrats and Republicans calling the Democratic Republic of Congo to hold presidential elections constitutionally in 2016. failing that, “it is time for President Kabila to assert publicly that he will resign at the end of his term, that is to say, at the latest on 19 December 2016”, hammered Senator Edward J. Markey. Below, the text of the US Senate Resolution in its entirety.

RESOLUTION

To encourage the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to respect the constitutional provisions on the holding of the presidential election in 2016, in order to ensure peaceful and orderly democratic transition of power;

Whereas the United States and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have a partnership based on economic development, investment and mutual interests in security and stability, and marked by efforts to resolve the crisis prolonged humanitarian face DRC;

Whereas in 2006, the DRC government has adopted a new Constitution with a provision limiting the president to two consecutive terms;

Considering that the Constitution requires that the elections are held in time for the inauguration of a new president December 19, 2016, when the presidential term expires;

Whereas the events in the DRC over the past year and a half have seriously questioned the commitment of the DRC government to hold the elections on time required, and President Joseph Kabila has not publicly committed to step down at the end of his term;

Considering that security and intelligence officials from the DRC arrested, harassed and imprisoned peaceful activists (as Fred Bauma and Yves Makwambala), members of civil society, political leaders and others, as well as groups international and national human rights have reported worsening of the situation of human rights in the DRC;

Whereas 12 presidential elections to be held on the African continent by the end of 2017, and what transpires in the DRC will send an important message to leaders in the region;

While President Barack Obama spoke with President Kabila, on 31 March 2015 and “stressed the importance of elections in a timely, credible and peaceful that respect the Constitution of the DRC and protect the rights of all citizens of the DRC “;

Whereas on 30 Mars2016, the United Nations Security Council adopted unanimously the resolution 2277, expressing its deep concern with “the delays in the preparation of the presidential elections” in the DRC and “the increased restrictions of political space in the DRC “and calls for ensuring” the successful holding and timely elections, including the presidential and legislative elections in November 2016, pursuant to the Constitution “;

While many observers have expressed concern that the decline with the elections in the DRC, could lead to violence and instability in the DRC, which could affect the entire region;

Whereas, June 23, 2016, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions against General Célestin Kanyama, Provincial Police Commissioner of Kinshasa, capital of DRC; and

While the Treasury Department noted that these sanctions sends a “clear message that the United States condemn the violence and repression of the regime’s actions, particularly those of General Célestin Kanyama, threatening the future of democracy for people of DRC “;

NOW THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT WHETHER THE SENATE

Expresses its concern at the failure of the DRC to take necessary measures to organize elections in November 2016, as required by the Constitution of the DRC;
Recognizes that impunity and lack of rule of law undermine democracy, and that the arrest and detention of activists of civil society and harassment of political opponents and the restriction of political space and Punishment of peaceful dissent;
Reaffirms its support for democracy and good governance in Sub-Saharan Africa;
Asks the Government of the DRC and all other parties to respect the Constitution of the DRC to ensure a transition free, open, peaceful and democratic power as required by the Constitution;
urges the DRC government to show leadership and commitment to elections by accelerating concrete steps for holding elections, including voter registration and protection of speech and political partisanship;
Encourages the Government of the DRC and all other parties concerned to engage now targeted urgent discussions to advance the electoral process and reach consensus quickly on the way forward in establishing a detailed electoral calendar for all elections and allowing the selection of candidates and the process of the campaign; and
Urges the President of the United States, in close coordination with regional and international partners:

Constantly check that necessary technical dialogue occurs and takes place in a time and manner necessary for the proper conduct of elections in a timely manner;
Use appropriate means to ensure that these objectives may include the imposition of additional targeted sanctions on individuals or entities responsible for violence and violations of human rights, as well as those who will undermine the democratic process in the DRC at any time in the process; and
Continue the US policy of providing support for the organization of free, fair and peaceful national elections.

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