Gianni Pittella: “Respecting the electoral calendar is necessary for stabilising the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)”
During the first day of its mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the S&D Group delegation, made up of MEPs Marie Arena, Elena Valenciano, Linda McAvan and Cécile Kyenge, and S&D Group president Gianni Pittella, met with the Congolese Prime Minister Matata Ponyo Mapon and several members of the government.
In the meetings, Gianni Pittella highlighted the strategic importance of the country for stabilising the African continent. He also noted the need to respect the election process calendar.
In addition, the S&D Group asked the Congolese government to conduct a credible and transparent investigation into the bodies discovered in a mass grave in Maluku.
Gianni Pittella said:
“The Democratic Republic of Congo is strategic for stabilising the Great Lakes Region and Africa, and to improve the economic situation. The country is strategic in forming a kind of cordon sanitaire against rising terrorism and religious fundamentalism, which are spreading across the continent.
“It is absolutely necessary to respect the election calendar in order to ensure democratic and institutional stability.
“The EU must support the government’s efforts to improve the country’s economic, social and health situation, and focus on educating young people in particular.
“The fight against corruption must be strengthened so that economic development is sustainable and so that it benefits the entire population.
“We are pleased with the Congolese authorities’ interest in a European regulation on the trafficking of conflict minerals. This initiative could help end the savage and inhuman exploitation of these conflict mines. Tomorrow the S&D Group delegation will visit some mines in the Kivu region.”
S&D MEP and vice-president of the EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Cécile Kyenge, added:
“Transparency and full compliance with the election calendar are necessary to guarantee the democratic process and continued reform.