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India DRC: the Council of Ministers comes to a halt

08:50  27 june  2020
08:50  27 june  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Council of Ministers came to a halt yesterday, Friday, June 26, in Kinshasa. In question in particular, still these three draft laws carried by two tenors on the reform of justice. Projects which, according to the presidential party, the opposition and some chancelleries, could reduce the independence of the judiciary in the country. The Congolese head of state, Félix Tshisekedi, was irritated to learn that the Minister of Justice, from his predecessor's camp, has already transmitted observations without consulting either him or the government.

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With our correspondent in the DRC, Pascal Mulegwa

As at each meeting of the Council of Ministers, it was Félix Tshisekedi who was the first to speak. He deplored the violence in the demonstrations and is also said to have railed against the treatment of these legislative proposals to the Assembly during a state of health emergency. His statement has not been commented on, as is traditionally the case, and the Council of Ministers is continuing.

A little later, a minister of the presidential coalition pointed out to President Tshisekedi that his colleague in Justice, a relative of Joseph Kabila; secretly transmitted the favorable opinion of the government to the National Assembly; without his or the government's advice. Célestin Tunda Ya Kasende did send this observation by correspondence on June 16.

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Presidential anger

This information provoked the anger of the head of state, who demanded, on the spot, explanations from the minister, adds a government source. From his office, the president has decided to cut communication, leaving his ministers alone. the Council of Ministers have been held for several months by videoconference due to coronavirus.

Before retiring, Félix Tshisekedi, according to another minister of the pro-Kabila coalition, deplored a "lack of sincerity" among the ministers from the pro-Kabila coalition. The rest of the meeting was therefore chaired by the Prime Minister, who, for his part, closed the proceedings without finishing all the items on the agenda. Officially, the presidency does not confirm the scandal nor does it invalidate it.

Read also: DRC: the magistrates judge unconstitutional the proposed laws on justice

In a press release, she indicated that if Felix Tshisekedi withdrew from the meeting, it was to participate in a virtual exchange with his counterparts from the African Union office. As for the judicial reforms carried out by the Kabila camp, the entourage of the head of state confirms that they had never been discussed in the Council of Ministers. Instead, a minister, a member of the FCC, assured that the said observation by the Minister of Justice had already been adopted by a "commission of government laws".

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The Council of Ministers comprises ministers from each member state with responsibility for the policy area under discussion. As such, the Council of Ministers is not a body that has a fixed membership - rather it is a legislative concept that is given expression at any given time in one of nine

"Revoked"?

This incident caused an uproar in the Congolese political sphere. For the opponent Claudel Lubaya, the Minister of Justice committed a "serious fault". The confidence being broken, he insists, the minister must "either resign or be dismissed".

The Congolese Association for Access to Justice (ACAJ) called on the

Attorney General at the Court of Cassation to open an "urgent criminal investigation" into the disturbing circumstances in which the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Justice, Célestin Tunda, sent to the National Assembly the opinions of the government, on the three texts which tear the political class and the civil society.

Read also: DRC: a proposal for reform of the Justice causes clashes around the Parliament

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