SADC presses DRC to stick to electoral calendar, ensure credible polls

Luanda, Angola (PANA) – Leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Tuesday called on all stakeholders in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to remain committed to the implementation of the country’s electoral calendar and ensure a conducive environment for the holding of peaceful credible elections, scheduled to take place on the 23 December 2018.

In a communiqué issued at the conclusion of a one-day Double Troika Summit, held in Luanda, Angola, the DRC was assured of the SADC continued support to the electoral process and to the enhancement of political stability, peace and security.

The Summit noted the progress made in the implementation of the December 2016 Political Agreement, and in the electoral calendar in the DRC, for the elections and commended the  Government of the DRC, political stakeholders, and the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) for the progress made.

SADC leaders have noted the substantive progress made in DRC and revisited its decision to deploy a SADC Special Envoy to the country.

According to the communiqué, the Summit expressed its appreciation to Namibia and former president Hifikepunye Pohamba for his readiness and acceptance to serve as the SADC Special Envoy to the DRC.

The Double Troika Heads of State and Government Summit was officially opened by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who is also the Chairperson of SADC.

It was attended by President Ramaphosa, Namibian President Hage G. Geingob, incoming Chairperson of SADC eSwatini King Mswati III, outgoing Chairperson of SADC Angolan President João Lourenço, Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and incoming Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

Tanzanian Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan represented outgoing Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

It was also attended by DRC President Joseph Kabange Kabila, Prime Minister Motsoahae Thomas Thabane of the Kingdom of Lesotho; and SADC Executive Secretary Stergomena Lawrence Tax.

It received Reports on the implementation of SADC decisions in Lesotho and endorsed the Roadmap for Reforms and National Dialogue, urging the Government of Lesotho to prioritize the Constitutional and Security Sector reforms, which should be completed by May 2019, and a progress report to be presented to Summit in August 2018.

In addition, the Summit called upon all political parties and stakeholders in Lesotho to accord the needed seriousness to the National Dialogue and the reforms processes, and find lasting solutions to the political and security challenges facing the Kingdom.

On the unfolding developments in Madagascar, the Summit has condemned the loss of lives and destruction of property, and urged the Government, political parties, and the citizens of Madagascar to remain calm, exercise restraint, and take measures to avoid the escalation of political and security tensions.

It approved the urgent deployment of the SADC frmer Special Envoy to Madagascar,  Joaquim Chissano, who is former president of Mozambique, to facilitate a National Dialogue aimed at the de-escalation of the political tensions and reaching consensus on the electoral process.

Also, Summit mandated the Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation to engage the African Union (AU), and the United Nations (UN), with a view to developing a common approach for assisting Madagascar.

-0- PANA AR 24April2018

24 avril 2018 19:31:20




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