“Vote according to your conscience”: Congolese Cardinal ahead of General Elections

Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo of DRC's Kinshasa Archdiocese. Credit: Archdiocese of Kinshasa

Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo has urged eligible voters in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to vote according to their conscience and to elect leaders of good moral character in the country’s general elections slated for December 20.

In his homily during the Diocesan Youth Day in Kinshasa Archdiocese, the Congolese Crdinal weighed in on the ongoing political campaigns for the presidential, legislative and local elections in the Central African, which officially kicked off on November 19.

“Once you go to the polls, vote according to your conscience,” Cardinal Ambongo said in his homily on Sunday, November 26.

He added, “Let's give preference to candidates who are competent and of good moral character.”

“If ever a candidate offers you money or food, take it because they are campaigning with Congolese taxpayers' money, it's your money,” he said.


Cardinal Ambongo invited the electorate to “say no to opportunists who change sides in search of personal interests.”

“Say no to tribalism and nepotism, no to the buying of consciences,” he said.

Eligible voters in DRC are to participate in the election of the country’s President, 500 members of the National Assembly, members of the 26 Provincial Assemblies, and, for the first time under the new constitution, members of some 300 Municipal Councils.

In his November 26 homily, Cardinal Ambongo expressed his reservations about the December 20 polls.

“Despite the start of the electoral campaign, we have no proof that the elections will take place on 20 December, given the technical difficulties experienced by the electoral body,”  the Congolese Cardinal said in reference to challenges faced by the members of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).

More in Africa

He continued, “We have no certainty that the elections will be free, inclusive, transparent and peaceful.”

The member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (OFM Cap) urged the electorate to be “vigilant and not indulge in political and tribal conflicts.”

On November 19, Bishop Melchisedec Sikuli Paluku of the Catholic Diocese of Butembo-Beni cautioned the electorate against irresponsible political candidates, and urged them to elect those who have the best interests of the people at heart.

Members of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) have also urged eligible voters in the Central African nation to consider political candidates’ “competence and moral probity” when casting their ballots on December 20.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.