As the Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo hosted last-minute negotiations on Thursday to avert crisis when President Joseph Kabila’s term ends on December 19, the presidential majority and the radical opposition are already showing signs of divergence.
Valentin Mubake, head of the opposition’s delegation to the talks said: “We are here because we are not discouraged. Many of us have skeptical faces, and we’re going to tell them that the constitution must apply. We can’t just change a country’s constitution, we apply it, that’s all “
“If the talks fail, it is because we won’t have reached consensus. So we will just go ahead and enforce what’s in the constitution. There will be possible agitations here and there but we have seen this before, it’s nothing new and we will manage it as we always have,” said Lambert Mendé, the spokesman of the presidential majority’s delegation.
Despite the indifference, the Catholic Church has taken a positive tone claiming that both Kabila and the opposition had given “strong and very encouraging signals”.
“This broad consensus will ease the tense climate in which we live in today, to enable us to organize the peaceful, credible and transparent elections in our country,” said Abbot Masinganda
These talks are supposed to prevent the country from sinking into chaos in the coming weeks. At the heart of the debate is the precise date when elections should be held, as well as President Joseph Kabila’s fate, as the opposition wants him to leave office once his term expires on December 19th.