DRC : for appeased General Elections in 2016

GENERAL ELECTIONS IN 2016

PROPOSAL FOR A SOFT LANDING [1]
Jean Munyampenda

(November/05/2014)

DRC:  A transition from 2015 to 2016 is a necessity to a peaceful departure of Joseph Kabila from state power and for appeased general elections at the end of 2016. These are here the two key issues of this proposal  to avoid a politician revision of the Constitution  in order to get a third presidential term prohibited by Article 220.

Introduction

In the DRC, it is desirable that politicians inaugurate – right now – a habit of cooperation and mutual respect to address all crises on legitimate concerns of people. In the above perspective, it is necessary to envisage, in emergency:

  • On one hand, how to replace Joseph Kabila by another elected President in 2016 while maintaining for the latter a quiet and peaceful end of his reign.
  • On the other hand, how to keep up current structures of power – even strengthen them – so that the future successor Joseph Kabila could exercise them in favor of People.

Without such a perspective, Joseph Kabila’s political way out would be worse than that of Laurent Gbagbo.

Joseph Kabila has an incentive to consider a transition for his peaceful departure from state power in the DRC … and civilian opposition to get it, peacefully. Otherwise, the only option which will be imposed  to populations would be a popular struggle, armed or not !

In this pacifist perspective, it is sufficient that Joseph Kabila solemnly announces his intention to leave the state power in 2016 and set a starting point by establishing a Commission for a Historical Compromise that would lead the political opposition to negotiate with him two important points[2]:

  • The organization of appeased elections in 2016
  • A transition from 2015 to 2016 (years remaining of the current presidential term)

It is therefore a Transition (2015-2016) devoted to a peaceful departure of President Joseph Kabila from state power and not to any unconstitutional third presidential mandate (Compaoré type).

Table 1 below shows the main objective, the expected outcome and the political institutions that might result from a possible ”Constitutive Act for a Historical Compromise’’ between ruling power and its opposition to assure appeased elections in 2016.

Table 1: Highlights on the proposal for  appeased General Elections in 2016

English transition o
In this proposal, the National Parliament (National Assembly and Senate) and the Provincial Assemblies should be immediately dissolved but existing judicial institutions would remain in place.

A.   Points to be  discussed in  the  Commission of  Historical Compromise

The aim is to organize truly free and democratic elections in order to initiate a process of self-sustainability.

  • • For appeased general elections, it is necessary to carry out a transition from a fragile state status to a structured, republican and democratic state.
  • • As a Historical Compromise, it is exceptional to establish transitional structures for the organization of appeased general elections in 2016 on a democratic basis.

In this Commission Historical Compromise, it would be addressed some issues – in concrete terms –:

  • Creation of Local Independent Electoral Commissions and their National Coordination;
  • Establishment of a Government of National Cohesion and Transition;
  • Establishment of Transitional Provincial Governments;
  • Grouping key state transitional leaders into a ‘‘National Political Council’;
  • Effective implementation of Goma and Nairobi Peace Agreements.

Table 2 provides a number of individuals whose main function would be to agree on nature and functioning of the transitional political institutions of over a period of two years (2015 and 2016) and designate other main leaders who – together – would form the National Political Council, both executive and legislative board during transition period.

 Table 2: Possible composition of the Commission for Historical Compromise[3]

 English transition 1

 

 B.   Local Independent Electoral Commissions (local-CEI)

 

In DRC, the most significant sociological criterion of constituencies seems to be that based on dioceses of the Roman Catholic Church. It is at this level that should be implemented these Local Independent Electoral Commissions (Local-C.E.I) completely autonomous in their functioning. They would be ‘‘facts’’ from Congolese Civil Society.

A National Coordination of Local Independent Electoral Commissions would replace the current ‘Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI)”, led by Father Malu-Malu.

The duties of the National Coordination of Local Independent Electoral Commissions would be (local-CEI):

  • To centralize results for their Proclamation Declaring ;
  • To review the compliance of Local-CEI’s activities with national standards ;
  • To transfer to appropriate Judicial Institutions all complaints (action lawsuits, laments, or moans)
C. National Political Council (NPC)

 

 NPC should be a state structure that would be both executive and legislative during Transition Period.  Debates within NPC would be continuous, permanents and depth in all domains. In addition to the exceptional consultations, there would be monthly ordinary meetings.

The Constitutive Act of the Historic Compromise and NPC’s decisions would constitute the legal foundations during transition period, …in the respect of the spirit of the Constitution of 18 February 2006.

Table 3: Composition of the National Political Council

1
President of the Republic, Head of State
2
Prime Minister, Head of Government
3
Ministers of the Government of National Cohesion and Transition
4
Governors and Vice-Governors of Provinces
5
Members of the National Security Council
6
Presidents of Local Independent Electoral Commissions
7
Members of the Supervisory Board of Public Finance and Monetary institutions
8
Members of the Supervisory Board of Public Enterprises and Projects
9
Members of the Supervisory Board of Foreign Embassies and Representations
10
Members of the Supervisory Board of Public Administration Bodies

Taking into account of different political groups and communities should be strengthened through appointment of the other leaders into transitional institutions.

D. Government of National Cohesion and Transition

 

Central Government – as Government of National Cohesion and Transition – would be under the dual leadership of the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister from political Opposition.

Table 4: Functional Structures of Central Government

Ministries of the Government of National Cohesion and Transition

1

Decentralization and Organization of Elections

2

Energy and Electrification

3

Water Resources and Distribution

4

Transport

5

Economy, Industry and External  Trade

6

Public Finance and monetary Institutions

7

Budget and State Portfolio

8

Agriculture and Peasant Condition

9

Development Planning

10

Homeland Security and Police

11

Defense and National  Security

12

Primary and Secondary Education

13

Higher Education and Scientific Research

14

Employment and Enterprise Development

15

Social Affairs and National Solidarity

16

Public Health

17

Gender and Development of the Family Solidarity

18

Environment and Nature Conservation

19

Youth, Sports and Tourism & Leisure

20

Foreign Affairs and International and Regional Cooperation

21

Management of Multilateral and Bilateral Project

22

Infrastructures and Public works

23

Telecommunications and ICT Development

24

Justice and Human Rights

25

Public Service and Central Administration

26

Communication, Information and Media

27

Culture, Arts and Tourism

28

Civil Society Organizations and foreign NGOs, Government Spokesperson

 E.   Transitional Provincial Institutions

Provincial governments would consist of Executive Departments and set in the perspective of inter-communitarian and local political cohesion.

Table 4: Functional structures of local governments

Members  of a Local Government (Executive Councilors)
1
Governor of the Province
2
Vice-Governor of the Province
3
Department  Employment and Development of SMEs
4
Department of Social Condition and Communication
5
Department of Economic Planning, Finance and Budget.
6
Department of Security and Police
7
Department of Health and Environment.
8
Department of Infrastructures and Energy
9
Department of Education, Culture and Sports
10
Department of Justice and Human Rights
11
Department of Agriculture and Peasant Condition
12
Department of Local Administration and Public Service

During the transition period, significant local leaders should be involved in the management of the Province through a Provincial Council, both executive and legislative body, allowing representation/participation of all social groups.

For example, the Provincial Council could include the following people:

  • 4 persons for the Bureau of the Provincial Council ;
  • 12 members of the Provincial Government ;
  • 12 people for Political, Social and Humanitarian Affairs ;
  • 12 people for the Committee on Economic Affairs, Finance and Budget ;
  • 10 people for the Committee for Peace and Security.
F. Presidency of the Republic

By the Constitution in force, the President of Republic may appoint a Congolese – Special Ombudsman – to consult political leaders and organize a political dialogue with a view to the institution of this Commission of Historical Compromise, instead of thinking that a foreign has to come from MONUSCO to do so. An intellectual and political autonomy in this area is crucial to the future of the country.

The main consensus would be the following in the Commission of Historical Compromise:

  • The Prime Minister – necessarily from the political opposition – would be nominated by the Commission of Historical Compromise and appointed by a presidential decree.
  • Ministers of the Government of National Cohesion and Transition would be appointed by presidential decree on the proposal of the Prime Minister, regularly discussed within the  Commission of Historical Compromise.
  • The members of the various oversight committees within the National Political Council would be appointed by presidential decree on a list regularly discussed within the Commission of Historical Compromise.
  • Members of the Provincial Councils (including Governors and Deputy Governors) would be appointed by a presidential decree on the basis of a Decision taken by the Commission of Historical Compromise.

Logistical issues related to elections could cause exceptional meetings of the National Political Council to propose a limited number of monthly extensions of the transition during the year 2017

Depending on the prerogatives recognized to him by the Constitution, President of the Republic should take presidential decrees and the Prime Minister measures to ensure a smooth running of state institutions by reference to the Constitutive Act of Compromise Historical and/or Decisions of the National Political Council. It is therefore normal to discuss all main proposals of decrees from President of the Republic, Prime-Minister and Ministers within the National Political Council.

G. For a broad view of change 

With its centrality in over the continent and its immense natural economic resources, DRC has to become a strategic epicenter of the political process of the ”prophesied’ unification of Central, Eastern and Southern Africa[5]. Actually, the real internal change is also to consider a new and wider Pan-African State, including the DRC.

To do this, we should begin from a founding core, the political union between DRC, Angola, Rwanda and Burundi under the name of ‘Republic of Lumumba[6]‘’. ‘This vision is a potent ideological support to internal political cohesion in DRC.

For Congolese people, change is mainly economic progress and political independence of Africa as a whole and the pride of blacks around the world. In the above perspective – and for at least two years -, President Kabila could actively try to bring together all regional leaders rather than to divide them. He should cut all local and foreign supports of FDLR within DRC and – thus – liquidate main causes of recurrent wars which are dramatically affecting the Congolese people!

Another life exists beyond presidential term. It would suffice to Joseph Kabila to work with many other people for a Panafricanist Initiative and get an alternative and peaceful life.

Figure 2: Proposal for the ‘Republic of Lumumba’ with its 14 federated provinces[7]

Lumumba republic

[1] This proposal is an adaptation (updating and combination) of some proposals that I had already made for peaceful elections in 2011 and for a peaceful settlement of crisis in the Eastern DRC during M23’s insurrection in 2012. See: wwwgrandslacsregion.org
[2] Political dimension of such statement would relegate the legal considerations in second place so that the most important thing would be to find some political and legal arrangements in the spirit of the Constitution in force. It would reminiscent those of Joseph Mobutu in April 1990.
[3] Cfr: Our tweets on doctrinal trends that are currently active in the DRC in: jmunyampenda
[4]In case of force majeure, the people her mentioned may be represented by individuals other than those here listed [5] See Vision largely developed in the wwwgrandslacsregion.org in ‘Perspective 3 : ‘’Republic of Lumumba”
[6] For DRC, catholic dioceses of Figure 1 would be ‘’districts’’ in the future federated provinces of Figure 2.
[7] See explanation in wwwgrandslacsregion.org in ‘Perspective: ‘‘Republic of Lumumba.”

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