Mmegi Online :: Govít slams DRC electoral violence
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Last Updated
Tuesday 21 February 2017, 15:35 pm.
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Govít slams DRC electoral violence

The Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ministry yesterday took aim at the developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), saying the lack of elections were against the spirit and objective of democratic ideals in SADC.
By Staff Writer Thu 22 Dec 2016, 14:04 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Govít slams DRC electoral violence








While President Joseph Kabila’s 15 year term ended on Monday, elections in the country have been delayed, with critics saying the move is part of a plan by Kabila to hang onto power. In September, massive protests calling for Kabila to step down resulted in 17 people being killed. Another 20 were killed on Tuesday in fresh protests, violently crushed by the DRC government.

In a statement, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said it was unclear why Kabila’s government had not called for elections. The DRC is a member of the 15-state SADC bloc.

“The government of Botswana regrets that the DRC has not been able to hold elections this year as per the country’s constitutional requirements,” the ministry said.

“Instead, the government of the DRC has, for reasons that Botswana does not fully comprehend, decided to postpone elections.

“This act by the government of the DRC goes against the spirit and objective of consolidating the democratic ideals espoused by our regional body, SADC.”

The ministry urged “all the concerned stakeholders” to the political process in the DRC to respect and adhere to their constitutional obligations, “that

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should guide the electoral process in this regard”.

“The government of Botswana also appeals to all the concerned parties to refrain from any acts that may threaten peace and stability in the country.”

Yesterday, South Africa added its voice to the wave of international condemnation of the violence in DRC, saying the violence threatened the “hard-won democratic gains made by the DRC through the past two elections.”

“South Africa likewise renews the call on all stakeholders to uphold the principles, ideals and aspirations of the Congolese people as enshrined in the DRC Constitution in accordance with the SADC and AU principles and guidelines governing democratic elections.

“South Africa continues to call on all parties to exercise restraint and to take urgent steps to end the violence and restore the protection given to the people of DRC through its Constitution. Likewise, the Congolese Diaspora is urged to work through their political leaders in the DRC, and not to resort to violence,” the government said.

On Tuesday, DRC citizens living in Pretoria staged demonstrations outside their embassy, where some vowed to burn the building down.

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