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INCLUSIVE ELECTION: DRC Catholic Leaders Calls For Free, Transparent, Inclusive & Peaceful 2023 Polls

Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo delivered a strong speech to the Pope at the mass celebrated Wednesday at N’dolo Airport in Kinshasa informing the Holy Father of the church’s demand that the Democratic Republic of Congo holds transparent, credible, peaceful and inclusive elections.

The speech was made in the presence of President Félix Tshisekedi and his main rivals Martin Fayulu and Moïse Katumbi with other political and civil society representatives also present as the central African nation prepares for a crucial election on December 20, 2023 elections.

Cardinal Ambongo said the quality of the elections was critical to the credibility of the outcome.

“Your visit comes during an election year, which is often a source of social and political tension in our country. With the message that you have brought us and trusting in your prayers, we hope to see in our country free, transparent, inclusive and peaceful elections,” said Fridolin Ambongo.

A day earlier, in a speech at the Palais de la Nation, the Pope called for “free, transparent and credible elections.”

The Cardinal did not shy away, in his brief speech, from highlighting the social ills of the Congolese in general. He reminded the Pope that the people who welcomed him were troubled in body and in soul. He thanked the Pontiff for his presence in the poverty stricken yet mineral rich country.

“Despite this unjust suffering, the Congolese people remain confident and full of hope. This is why the comforting presence of your holiness at the bedside of this suffering people is a real encouragement. Thank you for your message and your homily of comfort which confirms us in our faith”, added Cardinal Ambongo.

For his part, the Bishop of Rome spoke of peace and forgiveness at N’dolo airport on February 1 which was transformed into a huge cathedral welcoming around a million faithful who came from all over to listen to Pope Francis on an apostolic visit to the DRC.

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