All eyes are on Congolese religious denominations, eight in number recognized. It is up to them to designate the candidate-president of the Independent National Electoral Commission as well as another member for the plenary. Over the three previous electoral cycles, at this phase of the process, they have always been divided, the Catholic Church finding itself alone against all the others and denouncing a stranglehold by the regime on the designation of the number one. But on Friday, the eight denominations jointly denounced threats without specifying their origin.
With our special correspondent in Kinshasa, Sonia Rolley
It is the first time that the Catholics of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (Cenco) and the Protestants of the Church of Christ in Congo (ECC) are on the same line at the stage of the designation of the members of the Ceni . The two main religious denominations do not hide their hostility to the announced candidacy of Denis Kadima, considered too close to Félix Tshisekedi, which the executive director of the Electoral Institute for a Sustainable Democracy in Africa has always denied. He is the candidate of the Kimbanguist Church and also seems to benefit, at a minimum, from the support of the Revival Churches.
On the side of Catholics, like Protestants, it is assured that it is not the only name of candidate that poses a problem from this point of view. Both claim to have themselves suggested candidates defeated for the same reasons and to have renounced them.
We could therefore move towards a “two against two” and everything will be played on the four remaining faiths, namely the Muslims, the Orthodox, the Salvation Army and the independent Churches. It is undoubtedly on them that the pressure is the strongest, even if several religious leaders say they are victims of intimidation or even threats. In any case, in their joint statement, all religious denominations affirmed to seek a consensus on the name of a person ” having exceptional courage to proclaim the true results of the ballot boxes ».
The submission of applications is scheduled for Monday July 26. Each denomination has the right to present candidates and then they meet all day Tuesday to try to reach a consensus.
Note that according to the new law on the Ceni, a joint majority-opposition committee in the National Assembly will be responsible for reviewing the candidacies of the members of the Ceni, chosen by the majority, the opposition and civil society, before to transmit all the names retained to the Head of State, responsible for ratifying them.
► To (re) listen also: Designation of the Ceni in the DRC: heads of religious denominations denounce “threats”