“The leaders of the religious denominations are determined to do everything possible to conclude on Tuesday if possible,” the spokesperson of the the forum of religious denominations in DRC who doubles as the Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference (CENCO) added.
He went on to highlight some of the qualities of the person being sought to head CENI saying, “We need someone who has the exceptional courage to announce the true election results.”
“We will not allow mediocrity,” Fr. Nshole who has been at the helm of CENCO since 2017 told journalists, and reiterated, “The ideal is to work to have someone who has leadership and proven ethics, a mastery of electoral governance.”
He described the mandate religious leaders in DRC have to appoint the head of CENI as “a difficult task” particularly because of “the political environment that we know.”
“Thanks to God and thanks to the good will of everyone, we will get through this, but rest assured that we will not allow mediocrity to take over,” the member of the Clergy of DRC’s Inongo Diocese added.
In April, religious leaders urged Members of Parliament (MPs) to practice impartiality as they debated about new members to constitute the CENI.
In their collective statement issued April 21, the faith-based leaders in DRC said it was “a good opportunity for us to recall that the purpose of the urgently needed reforms in this area is to strengthen the legal mechanisms likely to guarantee the independence, neutrality and impartiality of CENI so as to reassure all electoral actors of the credibility of the 2023 elections.”
In the statement, DRC’s religious forum that is chaired by the Catholic Archbishop of Kinshasa, Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo, cautioned against influence due to political affiliations saying the major challenge remains the “need to minimize political influence on the electoral body.”
They outlined issues to be taken into consideration in order “to achieve the objectives assigned, for the designation of the members of CENI.”
“We encourage the option of the freedom of the major stakeholders to choose their representatives in CENI,” the religious leaders said.