Author: Brennan E. Wells
As with most democratic forms of government, the peaceful transition of power between one president and the next is of the utmost importance. Not in adherence of law and order, but respecting that nations are governed by laws and these laws are placed upon a nation with the consent of the governed. In essence, a presidential transfer of power is a living example that the will of the people is reflected in those entrusted to govern.
In the United States, this process has gone off without a hitch, excluding the presidency during World War II and the presidency before the Civil War, with the same being, said for the majorities of other industrialized nations. Yet, to disremember the minority of nations gaining their independence in the late 1900s would be willful blindness. One such newly independent nation is the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Joseph Kabila has been the President of the DRC since 2001, when his father was shot by his bodyguard, and has been ruling the DRC ever since. The only problem with this scenario is that Kabila has been ruling since 2001 and it is now 2016. Kabila is ruling past the DRC’s constitutional mandate that no president serve more than two terms. Despite the call from citizens to hold elections, Kabila is hindering the federal government in the Congo from holding elections citing voter registrar issues. Most recently violence has broken out in the Congo in response to Kabila holding on to power forgoing the wishes, will, and wants of the people.
Despite pressure and sanctions by the United States, the United Nations, and France, Kabila is holding firm to power and resisting a peaceful transition of power. Preferring to allow the DRC to wallow into violence. Coupled with the troubling political climate and the denial of basic democratic processes, is humanitarian crises. Seven and a half million citizens in the DRC are in urgent need of medical care, one in nine persons lives on $1.25 a day and half of all persons in the DRC lack access to clean water.
The DRC is in desperate need of a president who will put the will and needs of the people before their own political agenda. Along with a proper president, the DRC needs the attention of the world stage before Africa devolves into its second world war (yes, Africa has had a world war before).