Congolese President rejects proposed judicial reforms

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Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi said on Monday he would not accept any reform that undermines the independence of the judiciary, the latest round in a standoff within the ruling coalition over proposed judicial changes.

The disagreement over a proposal to give the Justice Ministry more control over criminal prosecutions has highlighted strains in the coalition between Tshisekedi and allies of his predecessor, Joseph Kabila.

It led to the brief arrest of the Justice Minister last week, prompting the Prime Minister to threaten the resignation of the government.

DR Congo’s Justice Minister, Celestin Tunda

READ:
Police release DR Congo’s Justice Minister from custody

In an address to the nation to mark Democratic Republic of Congo’s 60th independence anniversary from Belgium, Tshisekedi said:

“Under no circumstances will I accept reforms in this sector which by their nature and content, would harm the fundamental principles governing justice,” he said.

“Let me take this symbolic occasion of commemorating independence to reaffirm that no majority, political or parliamentary … can overstep the founding principles of the republic,” he added.

Tshisekedi came to power in January 2019, forming a coalition with Kabila, who maintains extensive powers through his parliamentary majority and control of most cabinet ministries and the Prime Minister’s office.

 

Olajumoke Adeleke

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