Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nov 28, 2017 / 14:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Catholic bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo have requested that President Joseph Kabila affirm that he will not claim a third term of presidency at the conclusion of his constitutionally-limited two terms in power.
“We urge you to reassure the public opinion by a public statement that you will not be a candidate for your own succession,” read a statement from the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) on Monday.
“We are convinced that this would contribute to easing political tensions,” the statement continued.
President Kabila has been in power since 2001, when his father Laurent Kabila was assassinated. His two-term limit expired in December 2016, but he has refused to step down and did not allow elections for the next president. A Dec. 31 agreement between Kabila’s government and opposition parties calls for elections to be held by the end of 2017
The bishops conference, CENCO, aided in negotiating the so-called New Year’s Eve Agreement.
However, observers say the terms of the deal have not been upheld, and Kabila has cited reasons to stall ongoing negotiations, and the election.