Zambian President Edgar Lungu has said that given the strong objections to the provisional results of the presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has called on all political leaders to consider a negotiated political settlement for an all-inclusive government.
In a statement released to the media today and signed by President Lungu’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda, SADC encourages all stakeholders in the DRC elections to pursue a negotiated political settlement for a government of national unity.
In his capacity as chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, President Lungu said that he has spoken to leaders of SADC and the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).
President Lungu said that has also spoken to the provisionally proclaimed winner, Mr. Felix Tsisekedi and other stakeholders within and outside of the DRC.
“SADC draws the attention of Congolese politicians to similar arrangements that were very successful in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya where governments of national unity created the necessary stability for durable peace.”
“SADC therefore encourages all parties to enter into a political process towards a government of national unity in order to enhance public confidence, build bridges and reinforce democratic institutions of government and electoral process for a better Congo,” he said.
According to the statement, SADC has urged DRC authorities to swiftly resolve all elements of doubt that could undermine the fairly successive general election and pose a danger to the peace and stability of the country.
SADC has taken note of the strong doubts cast on the poll outcome by Roman Catholic Church in the DRC which had deployed more than 40,000 monitors; the opposition Lamuka coalition, and other observers and therefore feels a recount would provide the necessary re-assurance to both winners and losers.
It is therefore imperative that at this very crucial moment, all DRC politicians commit to actions and processes that do not escalate tensions any further.
SADC expresses solidarity with the government and the people of the DRC for organizing a relatively successful election that inspires hope that the country was on a path towards democratic consolidation.