Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou N’Guesso on Thursday urged all Congolese political and social actors to take part in the forthcoming dialogue which will discuss the country’s future.
“I urge all political and social actors to take part in the discussions which will be open and, in my opinion, free,” he told the media at Maya-Maya airport after returning from an official visit in France.
“This is a move that has been hailed. It is open and it does not exclude anyone. Whether it is through dialogue or through a referendum, the people should be allowed to exercise their power. What I am requesting is that people should actively participate in the debate,” the president said.
The talks set to open next week will bring together leaders of political parties and civil society groups.
During the dialogue, participants will discuss electoral governance and institutional reforms, especially the 2016 presidential elections and whether to change the constitutional provisions limiting presidential terms to two.
The main opposition parties such as the PanAfrican Union for Social Democracy, the Republican Front for Democratic Transition as well as some parties allied to the ruling party such as the Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development and Action Committee for Democracy and Development have declared they will not take part in the talks.
The parties have issued a number of conditionalities for their participation in the dialogue, key among them being removal of the proposed constitutional changes from the agenda of the talks, equal representation of both the opposition and ruling party sides in the preparatory committee and appointment of a neutral person to head the preparatory committee. Enditem