News / Africa

Congo Church Appeals for Dialogue in Election Dispute

Father Abbot Leonard Santedi says the Church is ready to help in the search for post-election peace and stability

Veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi is seen at his residence in Kinshasa, Congo, June 2006. (file photo)
Veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi is seen at his residence in Kinshasa, Congo, June 2006. (file photo)

Multimedia

Audio
James Butty

The Elections commission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, also known as CENI, is expected to release results for provincial constituencies from the November 28 elections Wednesday and publish the complete national results on January 26.

The commission postponed tallying the final results after the opposition and the international community criticized the process as flawed.

President Joseph Kabila and opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi have both been inaugurated after claiming victory.

The country’s Roman Catholic Church added its voice by calling on CENI to re-evaluate and correct what it called “serious errors” in the elections.

Father Abbot Leonard Santedi, secretary-general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference said the church is also calling on the government and the opposition to begin a dialogue as a way of bringing post-election peace and stability to Congo.

“The Bishops’ Conference said that the election had many irregularities so that the results published were not credible. So, they asked the electoral commission first of all, to correct some mistakes and to say that if they (CENI) cannot correct the results, to resign. This is for us the best way for the peace in our country,” he said.

Father Santedi said the Bishops’ Conference also asked the Congolese parliament to reconsider the composition of the electoral commission to include people from civil society.

He said the Church is ready to help in the search for peace, but added CENI has yet to respond to the bishops’ recommendations.

“We hope that they can give an answer tomorrow or after tomorrow, and the Church is ready to give its help to look for the best way for peace in our country because right now we have no peace,” he said.

President Joseph Kabila and opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi have both claimed victory and have been inaugurated in separate ceremonies.

Father Santedi said it is not the church’s place to say whether President Kabila or Tshisekedi was the legitimate winner of the November elections.

But he said the church, which fielded a large observation team during the November poll, found many irregularities.

“Unfortunately, we can’t say whether it was Kabila or it was Tshisekedi, but we have found so many irregularities so that we asked the government to see what position they can take to fix the irregularities and what way they can follow to make dialogue with the opposition,” he said.

Father Santedi said only after the government and the opposition shall have dialogued can the church say who really won the November election.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid