They urge the leadership of political parties to “designate their representatives from among independent personalities who have not participated in the activities of political parties in the last five years.”
The faith-based leaders further recommend that the financing of elections “remains the prerogative of the Government; other sources, however necessary, remain secondary.”
The proposed reforms, the religious leader say, is a “major factor in the smooth running of the elections in 2023.”
“This is why we call on the Members of Parliament to have a sense of responsibility. Let them avoid at this stage seeking to defy the population in the name of the numerical majority at the national assembly,” the religious leaders say in their April 21 statement.
They encourage MPs in DRC to “take this matter seriously, taking into account the expectations of the population expressed several times by various civil society organizations, and to conclude as soon as possible in order to allow the components to finalize the process of appointing the members of the bureau of CENI.”
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“May the Divine Wisdom dwell in all of them for the advent of a new Congo,” the leaders implore in their collective statement.
Last year, DRC’s Catholic Bishops urged MPs and Senators to prioritize the interests of the Congolese people during their deliberations in the country’s capital, Kinshasa.
“The National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) reminds the Honorable parliamentarians and Senators of the Democratic Republic of Congo of their duty to vote laws that give priority to the interest of the Congolese people,” the Bishops said in their statement issued in September 2020.
In February, members of CENCO called for electoral reforms in the DRC saying it “should be among the priorities of the new government.”
In their statement released after the February 22 to 25 meeting of CENCO’s Standing Committee, the Bishops further called on the Congolese government to do “everything possible to win the challenge of organizing credible, transparent and peaceful elections in 2023 and not later.”
They also urged the International Community to help the country's institutions to "bring about reforms in favor of the Congolese population in order to prepare adequately for the 2023 elections.”
Last month, the Catholic Bishops unveiled the roadmap for the General elections slated to take place in 2023.
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.