Local commentators have emitted doubts and expressed concerns ahead of the signing of a special arrangement that should allow for the effective implementation of an accord between political actors in the Democratic Republic of Congo expected today (Monday 27 March).
The 31 December political agreement between the opposition – including coalition platform Le Rassemblement (Rally) – and President Joseph Kabila, who is accused of wanting to stay in power beyond his constitutional limit, signalled that everything was in place to ensure the country could finally move towards its first peaceful democratic handover.
But the opposition has accused Kabila of purposefully blocking the implementation of the power-sharing deal, facilitated by Congolese Bishops (Cenco) leading to a new unity government.
Describing a "make or break" situation, daily newspaper L'Avenir this morning said the sticking point remains the profile of the candidate for the post of Prime Minister, his nomination and appointment process, the size and format of the government, the division of responsibilities between the components, as well as the role of the Cenco at the end of the talks.
In its pages in which it painted a "bleak and complicated" picture, L'Avenir contemplated the future of the DRC, saying that "if we only stick to the will of the political class of the DRC, we are far from being out of the woods". According to the newspaper, the only glimmer of hope for the DRC remains an intervention by Kabila himself.
Le Phare newspaper, meanwhile, described the "total disagreement" between the different parties, while online news publication Cas-info.ca said alarm bells are ringing loudly in the DRC. These comments were echoed by Cenco, whose representatives on 26 March said they were loosing patience.
For 7sur7.cd online news site, the next 24 hours will be decisive for the future of the DRC.
Quoted by Cas-info.ca, the Cenco's general secretary Donatien Shole said: "The mediation proposes that we meet at 20:00 (UCT) for the signature, hoping that during the day the few remaining points to be solved are resolved. Shole said Cenco was determined to stick to the schedule "because too much is too much".
Nomination of DRC's next Prime Minister, the sticking point
- The Cenco proposes:
The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of the Republic, following consultations between the President and the Rassemblement.
- The Presidential Majority proposes:
The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of the Republic, after consultations between the President and the Rassemblement, on the basis of a list of three names
- The Rassemblement proposes
The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President of the Republic at the end of consultations between the President and the Rassemblement represented by its head of delegation at the Cenco-led inclusive national dialogue