The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is hitting constitutional deadlines of holding presidential elections. As states by the constitution, we would have legally been invited to enroll for polls within few months ago. The convocation of presidential election has to take place 90 days before the ongoing mandate expires, states the constitution (see Article 73). However, it’s obvious that observers would unlikely agree that these elections can be held in November 2016. Whether the failure to timely organize elections is due to financial/technical challenges or the lack of the willingness from rulers, the fact is that it would probably be taking a time to have them run.
Since a decade, the socio-political context in DRC as well as that of the Africa Great Lakes Region has interested key international partners; the US being on the forefront. In order to closely watch the region stability, the US has nominated a Special Envoy who had a short Twitter Q&A session on 07/07/2016. The discussion can be found on the US, Special Envoy to the Great Lakes official twitter account @US_SEGL. Though the session took a short time of discussions, Tom Perriello has once again underscored the timely organized Presidential/Parliamentary elections in DRC. That’s, respecting the constitutional deadlines.
If not mistaken, it might be that twitter users weren’t well informed on the forthcoming session as it was announced few hours before it went on. There is also a possibility that the US stance regarding the DRC isn’t currently meeting more Congolese’s interests? I’m likely unable to respond to the question. The following are Tom’s responses to roughly 5 questions that were asked to him.
Briefly, it seems that the US is still underlying and believing that timely elections can take place.
The US still considers an option of targeted sanctions to DRC as well as Burundi officials responsible of human right abuses. The US would consider also cutting aid to these countries in case of wide rights abuses.
The US supports the AU position and Edem Kodjo’s actions to have Congolese actors around a table in order to finding solutions on these challenges ahead. It can be interpreted that the US feels that political dialogue in DRC would contribute to easing tensions. However, Tom’s statement seems confirming that the US supports only one dialogue scheme contrary to what Genval tried to put forward.
In his mission as US Special Envoy, Tom described challenges and favorite moments that he came across:
What to draw from the Twitter Q&A session. The mostly noticeable aspect falls on “what’s called constitutional timely organized elections”. Is it possible that within 2-3 months would the Electoral Commission be able to organize them? The blogger thinks that it’s reasonable to question the US practical meaning of “timely organized elections”. It brings also forward the curiosity of seeing what button the US is pressing. Is that the right one? Possibly! The reason behind is that we all agree that choosing leaders on our own is a primary right. However, it could be that someone from top presses on the right button while the devise is somewhat “fallible”. Do you think the US has to push until the device functions?
NTANYOMA R. Delphin
Secrétaire Exécutif & Coordonnateur
Appui au Développement Intégré &
à la Gouvernance
Twitter : https://twitter.com/Delphino12