Complex is not exactly the right word for the current political situation in Kinshasa surrounding the formation of the new Government (after hotly contested elections) and the installation of the newly elected National Assembly (one of two houses of Parliament). As already elaborated in the last post, the elections were deemed so fraudulent by everyone, including the incumbent President Kabila that they were supposed to favor, that now, no one including those that undertook the rigging really have any idea about the true picture of the results of the ballots. Perhaps repeated layers of vote tampering have muddied the collective recollection of the real truth of who was elected.
Despite this impasse, the main parties of the opposition UDPS and MLC are ready to move forward and intact some collaboration has already occurred between the Presidential Majority Party and UDPS in order to pass the internal rules of procedure with amendments to the Supreme Court for the final sanctioning so that the Upper House or National Assembly as it is called here, can be convened in a timely way to enable the formation of the next government within the Constitutional limit. This means the opposition took a step towards accommodating the majority incumbent party. However, to really save the day, certain actions have to transpire very quickly and with the cooperation of the Presidential Majority Party. These include constitutionally stipulated provisions such as the election of the Spokesperson for the Opposition, a coordinator that with 21 commissioners would rally opposition voices and parties during the next five years of Parliament. Secondly, the reconstitution according to the law of the bureau of the CENI (the National election Commission) and its leadership, including allowing the opposition to take over two place reserved for it. Thirdly, and most importantly, without too much delay, announcing a calendar for the provincial and local elections before the end of 2012. Without provincial and local elections, the provincial assembly would expire and become unconstitutional; the new provincial Governors would not be elected and; the provincial assembly would not be able to elect the Senators to constitute the new lower house or the Senate of the nation. A lot is at stake.
The truth is that the opposition parties themselves and the Presidential Majority party are all conflicted internally about what is the best action to take, while internal rivalries and competitiveness threatens to dismember party unity. But somehow the PEANUT or KIKAWETE express of politics is continuing to inch forward and only in a country as distraught but as miraculous as Congo, could fragility still allow for the system to work. And work it must for the option is that the largest country in Africa which is located in the heart of this beautiful continent, will fall apart. Somehow, through all the fragility Congo manages to survive and function.
This week and next however will be critical in the formation of the new government and the reinstallation of the Parliament, and if this does not work, then a lot more work and support will be needed to sustain the stability required for this country to work. Now is the time for the international community to come out and support the implementation of constitutional measures such as the swift, representative and inclusive formation of the Government; the appointment of a feasible and “working” Prime Minister; the reconstitution of the Bureau of the National Assembly; and the reappointment of the leadership and bureau of the CENI. This is not the time for prevarication but for direct and unstinting support for the Constitution and other key legal provisions in DRC.