Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) Secretary General Eve Bazaiba this week ruled out any participation of her party in a political dialogue proposed by President Joseph Kabila, local media reports said.
Many observers have warned opposition political parties not to attend this forum, saying that the event could be yet another attempt by the head of state to cling to power beyond 2016.
Kabila, in power since 2001, is barred by the Constitution to stand for another term.
The MLC is a political party founded by former DRC V-P Jean-Pierre Bemba, who is currently awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged crimes against humanity.
“We have been consulted by the President’s envoy, but the time is not right for a political forum. We don’t need any forum right now because we prefer focusing on upcoming elections,” Bazaiba was quoted as saying.
She said most of the problems the country has been facing were debated at the National Consultative Forum, which is well known here in its French vocabulary as Concertations Nationales.
however, most of the resolutions taken at the Concertations Nationales were not implemented, Bazaiba regrets, adding that there is a strong possibility that the proposed dialogue will not bring anything new.
Political prisoners are still languishing in jail and most of the TV and radio stations belonging to the opposition parties have been suspended and taken off air, Bazaiba lamented.
Canal Kin, an MLC’s TV station, is no longer broadcasting, so are the outspoken Radio Television Catholique Elikya (RTCE), of the Roman Catholic Church and many others.
The first recommendation of that forum was not to manipulate the Constitution to stay in power beyond 2016, but all that was ignored and the attempt to revise it led to a bloodbath,” she said.
Photo: MLC S-G Eve Bazaiba, credit: Radio Okapi