In an interview with Actualite.CD on a report issued on 5 August 2016 by Congo Research Group (CRG) entitled “Congo’s Perilous Election Battle”, its Director, Jason Stearns said “the recent developments in the DRC indicate there is a trust problem with the facilitation”. Stearns expressed his views of the AU-appointed facilitator saying “Kodjo has a negative reputation with the opposition. He does not listen and is not inclusive enough”.
CRG’s Director lamented the fact there was no clear terms of reference for the facilitator or the International Support Group for the dialogue. He noted that both in the opposition and in the ruling coalition “there are stakeholders who are not interested in the dialogue taking place”. Stearns advised it was imperative to arrive at a compromise.
CRG recently published report indicated it will impossible to hold good and fair elections by the end of 2016. It suggested polls could be held in 2017, as revising the deeply flawed electoral register will take at least 8 months to complete.
This, the report feared, will create a political and constitutional crisis, could erode the democratic institutions set up by the peace process, and could potentially destabilize the country. The only way out of this crisis is through negotiations between the opposition and ruling coalition, with a clear agenda and a strong facilitation.
Speaking of a strong facilitation, Stearns laid out three options to Actualite.CD: replace the current facilitator by a more inclusive one, or strengthen the mandate of the International Support Group, or give more powers to Congo Brazzaville President Sassou Nguesso (or to another facilitator to support Kodjo) to facilitate the dialogue.