Lungu urges a govt of national unity in DRC

CHAIRPERSON of the SADC organ on politics, defence and security President Edgar Lungu has called for an all-inclusive government in the Democratic Republic of Congo given “the strong objections” to the provisional presidential result of the December 30 poll.

Last week on Wednesday, the DRC’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) declared opposition figure, Felix Tshisekedi winner of the presidential race.

He beat outgoing President Joseph Kabila’s hand picked candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary and another opposition candidate Martin Fayulu.
Fayulu has since indicated that he would appeal the result in the central African country’s Constitutional Court.

In a press statement yesterday, President Lungu’s press aide Amos Chanda stated that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was calling on all political leaders in the DRC to consider a negotiated political settlement for an all-inclusive government.

“Given the strong objections to the provisional results of the presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has called on all political leaders to consider a negotiated political settlement for an all-inclusive government,” Chanda quoted President Lungu as saying.

Chanda stated that SADC had encouraged all stakeholders in the DRC elections to pursue a negotiated political settlement for a government of national unity.

He added that President Lungu, in his capacity as chairperson of the SADC organ on politics, defence and security, had spoken to SADC leaders and the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).

“President Lungu has also spoken to the provisionally proclaimed winner, Mr Felix Tshisekedi and other stakeholders within and outside of the DRC,” Chanda disclosed.
“SADC draws the attention of Congolese politicians to similar arrangements that were very successful in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya where governments of national unity created the necessary stability for durable peace. SADC therefore encourages all parties to enter into a political process towards a government of national unity in order to enhance public confidence, build bridges and reinforce democratic institutions of government and electoral process for a better Congo.”

According to Chanda, SADC was urging DRC authorities to swiftly resolve all elements of doubt that could undermine the fairly successive general election and pose a danger to the peace and stability of the country.

“SADC has taken note of the strong doubts cast on the poll outcome by Roman Catholic Church in the DRC which had deployed more than 40,000 monitors….” stated Chanda, adding that it was imperative that at this very crucial moment, all DRC politicians committed to actions and processes that did not escalate tensions any further.
“SADC expresses solidarity with the government and the people of the DRC for organising a relatively successful election that inspires hope that the country was on a path towards democratic consolidation.”

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