DR Congo Ban takes note of appointment of new Prime Minister

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki moon has taken note of the appointment today of Samy Badibanga as Prime Minister ahead of the formation of a transitional government of national unity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in line with the political agreement of 18 October.“The Secretary-General welcomes this first concrete step in the implementation of the political agreement, which is expected to culminate in the holding of credible elections in the country,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson. The UN chief called on the Government to be formed by Prime Minister Badibanga to create a climate conducive to upholding the fundamental rights and freedoms essential to political debate and credible, inclusive elections, as called for in Security Council resolution 2277 (2016).Welcoming the mediation efforts led by the Conférence épiscopale du Congo (CENCO), the Secretary-general in his statement called on political groups that did not sign the political agreement to remain engaged and work towards the peaceful resolution of their differences. “He further calls on all political actors to continue working in good faith and in a spirit of compromise towards a political solution that paves the way for peaceful, credible, inclusive and timely elections in the DRC, in keeping with the Constitution and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance,” the statement added.The statement went on to say that M. Ban thanked Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo for his leadership over the last four years and that he looked forward to working with the Government led by Prime Minister Badibanga.Last month, the Constitutional Court granted a petition of the National Electoral Commission (CENI) to postpone the elections to 2018. Meanwhile, on 18 October, participants in the national dialogue on elections signed an agreement to conduct the polls in April 2018. However, the dialogue is being boycotted by several of the main opposition groups, some of which have been staging popular protests.Visiting the DRC this past weekend, members of the UN Security Council called on on Congolese political and social actors to take greater responsibility to adopt a consensual and inclusive electoral calendar and asked that the ban on public demonstrations be lifted.

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