The Congolese Association for Access to Justice (CAAJ) denounces the reform of the electoral law, which is announced in the Parliament, in its provisions relating to the conditions of eligibility of certain citizens to the presidency of the Republic – essentially nationality – as being in violation of the Constitution of the Republic.
The ACAJ is seriously concerned that this reform will jeopardize the fragile national unity that has been tested by real or supposed frustrations.
Indeed, the Fundamental Charter of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in its relevant provisions which found the attachment of the Congolese to his homeland, declares in particular that “We, the Congolese People, united by destiny and history around the noble ideals of freedom, fraternity, solidarity, justice, peace, and work… Let us affirm our determination to safeguard and consolidate national independence and unity while respecting
our diversities and positive particularities.”
Based, on the one hand, on these constitutional prescriptions combined with those of Articles 10, 11, 12, 13, 72, 102, and 106, which have the merit of clearly determining what is meant by Congolese of origin and, on the other hand, on the multiple and urgent challenges facing the country to alleviate the misery of the people and restore peace in the East, the ACAJ considers it inappropriate to give primacy to this reform in view of the intangible gains resulting from the electoral cycles of 2006, 2011 and 2018.
From the above, it is clear that a reform that would aim to undermine the said democratic gains would risk generating frustration and possible violence that the DRC does not need. Examples inspired by several countries in the world show that some of their leaders, from immigrant backgrounds, naturalized or having acquired the nationality of the host country through one of their parents, have served their states with dedication and patriotism.
“I strongly call on members of parliament to focus their efforts on restoring peace, particularly in the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu, and Mai-ndombe (Kwamouth Territory), fighting against the misappropriation of public funds, improving collective well-being, as well as preparing for the organization of the 2023 electoral cycle, which is called to be peaceful, fair, democratic, transparent and inclusive,” said Georges Kapiamba, President of the ACAJ.
Each political or social leader must work to (i) uproot division, (ii) clear the roots of political confrontations and (iii) confront with courage the injustices fabricated over the years in the DRC, he concluded. Thus, the ACAJ urges all MPs to reject the proposed law to amend the electoral law in its provisions relating to nationality. The writer Léon-Gontran Damas rightly said that “colors are life, and life is in the colors… culture, and design when intertwined have more life and flamboyance”.