DRC civil society calls for dialogue ahead of disputed poll

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DR Congo political class urged to dialogue for peaceful polls

KINSHASA, — Civil society organizations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) has urged the country’s political class to participate in dialogue convened by President Joseph Kabila to ensure forthcoming polls are peaceful.

“We, members of civil society groups, have met in Kinshasa to reflect on the way forward regarding the proposed national dialogue, and appeal for patriotism from the political class who should start engaging in dialogue as soon as possible,” the groups said in a statement issued in Kinshasa.

The civil society actors further urged parliament to quickly pass electoral laws to complete the electoral legal framework.

At the same time, they asked the government and administrative authorities to allow political groups to freely carry out their activities in order to create a climate of trust, which is ideal for holding political dialogue.

They also called on the international community to support DR Congo’s dialogue process with sincerity, and to honour its promises to provide budgetary support towards funding the Congolese elections.

Last week, Kabila urged Edem Kodjo, the facilitator appointed by the African Union, to rapidly launch the dialogue process.

Meanwhile, DR Congo’s veteran opposition leader and president of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) Etienne Tshisekedi, has announced that he will soon return to Kinshasa to take part in the national dialogue.

The opposition leader is currently in Belgium where he had gone for medical treatment since losing the 2011 presidential elections.

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