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DRC President Defends Record in State of the Nation Address Ahead of Elections

The president of the Democratic Republic of Congo delivered Tuesday (Nov. 14) a state of the nation address.

During over 2 hours Felix Tshisekedi spoke before the members of the Parliament’s two chambers meeting in congress in Kinshasa.

Tshisekedi who has spent nearly 5 years in office, addressed the resurgence of the M23 rebel group.

“Against the backdrop of the barbaric aggression on our country perpetrated by Rwanda and its M23 terrorist supporters in the last two years, I salute your commitment,” he told the assembly.

In response to the ongoing fighting, several foreign forces are deployed in the DRC’s east. 

The president who seeks re-election revie wed his government’s military alliances.

“As part of its peace-building efforts, the government is offering its cooperation to certain international forces present on our territory as part of our international commitments. In the case of some of these forces, the mechanisms for their withdrawal are being discussed. This is the case for MONUSCO and the regional force of the East Africa Community.”

The war and insecurity in the DRC’s east means swathes of territory are not under the control of the state. That could disenfranchise millions of voters. Still, Tshisekedi backed the decision to maintain the vote.

” I cannot conclude my remarks about you without specifically mentioning the determination you have shown to support me in my solemn commitment to consolidate our young and fragile democracy by organising electoral polls in strict compliance with constitutional deadlines.”

The Constitutional Court is due to unveil on November 18 the final list of candidates allowed to contest in the December 20 presidential election.

The UDPS party leader also announced targeted interventions on commodity prices and monetary policies to stabilize the Congolese Franc as Congolese grapple with high inflation and a cost-of-living crisis.

if the campaign for next month’s election has not started Tshisekedi’s closing remark sounded like it: “We have the choice to go back to square one or to consolidate what has been delivered […]”

Source : Africa News