Influential church withheld election results in DRC

The Church’s approach in Democratic Republic of Congo is both dangerous and irresponsible in terms of meddling with election results.

An influential Catholic Church of DRC addressed to the press on Friday saying even though they have the election results but wound not state who has won.

Similarly in 2011 the allegiances of church were divided. Despite vote rigging and massive irregularities it announced not to publish the results.

Such moves are shameful but yet people are relying on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Congo (CENCO), which has a network of around 40,000 electoral observers responsible for releasing credible results.

Across DRC tensions are rising and soon the Catholic Church will start putting pressure on the electoral commission to declare the results in public, but this could also pave the way for protests and clamping down. Millions of Congolese will face miserable days as they have been experiencing most of the time since independence in 1960.

Amid such circumstances it is important the church need to do better and play positive role in medicating between government and society.

The last such effort worked was in December 2016 when the church mediated between government and opposition to allow Kabila stay in office even after the end of his mandate.

Realistically the church has good influence in the country’s politics and society. It steps in where the government fails.

Paul Linus