-> A clear, explicit statement from President Joseph Kabila to the effect that he will not stand for the presidency again
For years, president Joseph Kabila has refused to publicly state that he will not be a candidate and will not stand for re-election at the end of his second, and final, term. This would be paradoxical for a head of state who has always claimed respect for the constitution.
Naming another person as a majority candidate for the presidential election is doubtlessly a step in the right direction, hence our satisfaction. Nevertheless, we remain cautious as to the current process in the light of past and recent experience with the regime.
In fact, for the time being, nothing points to a decision by Joseph Kabila to step down. On the contrary, recent developments (appointments to all senior military, judicial and civil functions, major project kick-offs, etc.) indicate that he is willing to do anything to stay in power.
December is both far away, yet not far enough away. By then, the situation may have evolved, as we saw with the electoral registration process: a new rebellion, another power shift, a major crisis calling for new negotiations, military intervention, etc. This is why it is vitally important that all ten conditions be met before we can even talk about a genuine electoral process. Otherwise, all the rest is merely “tactical”, to repeat the words of Minister Lambert Mende, and is aimed at keeping president Joseph Kabila in power.