According to the government in Kinshasa, D.R. Congo, the proposed constitutional amendment that will accelerate the presidential vote in November to just one round is really just about a lack of funding. Opposition leaders claim that the amendment is a move to consolidate power and set up the mechanisms for a rigged election. Voice of America reports:
A Democratic Republic of Congo cabinet minister has described as nonsensical accusations that a proposed constitutional amendment will weaken the opposition and will act as a significant boost to the ruling party in the scheduled 27thNovember general elections. Information minister Lambert Mende said the country’s fiscal condition is, in his words, the main reason for the amendment adding that the international donor community has been unable to provide promised funds to help with the upcoming elections.
Earlier today, the bill passed the National Assembly and has moved onto the Senate. Along with the changes to presidential electoral procedure, the bill also includes other amendments.
If all amendments pass the parliament, the president would have the power to dissolve provincial assemblies, sack governors and call referendums. Congo’s office of the prosecutor would also answer to the ministry of justice.
I’ll keep an eye out and post as the amendment process unfolds.