“Catch and prank of the monarch Congo”, by Richard Ossoma-Lesmois draws some lessons from the presidential election that took place on 21 March 2021 in Congo-Brazzaville, which led to the unexpected re-election of President Denis Sassou Nguesso. The main teaching, Congo-Brazzaville escapes the quagmire of a constitutional debate on Article 70, after the death of the opposition candidate the day after the vote.
Contents of the Political Chronicle
In this eighty-two-page work published by Edilivre, the Congolese jurist and writer, poses the need for the Congolese to get used to the Constitution, to the existing ordinary laws, to the mechanisms of democratic pluralism that they themselves have.adopted to consolidate the country’s anchorage to social, economic emergence and environmental excellence.Because picturesque constitutional changes and electoral laws, repeated political dialogues without any real impact on the general well-being of the populations, precipitate public misfortunes and apothecary agreements. In addition to curbing the bonds of emergence taken by the country since 2002
Lessons from the presidential election
Drawing some lessons from the presidential election held in Congo-Brazzaville on 21 March 2021, which led to the surprise victory of Denis Sassou N’Guesso for a new five-year term, the lawyer and writer, Richard Ossoma-Lesmois, highlights three important points in his book. In the first point related to the particular event that marked the presidential election of 21 March 2021 in Congo-Brazzaville, the Congolese lawyer and writer talks about the death of the presidential candidate, Guy Brice Parfait Kolelas, the main opponent of the Congolese president, Denis Sassou N’Guesso, president of the opposition party UDR-Yuki. Death occurred on March 22, 2021 in France, during his medical evacuation for respiratory discomfort caused by the complications of Covid-19 and other long-term pathologies suffered by the Congolese politician and opponent.
Occurring after the day of the vote, the death of the opposition candidate, Brice Parfait Kolelas has raised some procrastination concerning the interpretation of Article 70 of the Constitution of 25 October 2021 regarding incidents disrupting the electoral process organized in the country. Fortunately for the country, the Congo-Brazzaville, the death of the opponent candidate in the presidential election, Guy Brice Parfait Kolelas, which occurred on 22 March 2021 the day after the day of the vote, does not enter into the cases set out in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 70 of the Constitution.
The vote had already taken place in the case of the first paragraph, explains Richard Ossoma-Lesmois. And then, the final results of the election did not result in a second round of the presidential election. The outgoing president, Denis Sassou N’Guesso, won by a margin of more than 88 per cent in the first round.
The endless debate on the Constitution
Thus, the country escapes an interminable constitutional debate when we know that, in the past, a simple interpretation of Article 75 of the Constitution of 15 March 1992 had precipitated the Congo-Brazzaville in a series of political challenges to the legitimate government resulting from the first free elections held in the country. And then, in the civil war of 1993 under the presidency of Pascal LISSOUBA, the erection of barricades in the major arteries of the capital, Brazzaville according to the factual divisions imposed by the political leaders, under the backdrop of a surrealist consensus government with 40 per cent of opposition representatives and 60 per cent of presidential majority representatives.The political compromise occurred in total ignorance of the provisions of the Constitution of 15 March 1992. Even so, this constitutional incident that had brought the parliamentary majority to the opposition and led President Lissouba to dissolve the National Assembly, were distant causes of the first Congolese civil war of 1993 in the era of multiparty rule. The inter-tribal conflict, which killed 10,000 people, then opposed the supporters of Bernard Kolélas to the supporters of President Pascal LISSOUBA. In addition to significant material damage. Another consequence, the presidential election planned in August 1997 in accordance with the constitutional deadlines set, will never take place. Since a second civil war started by President Pascal LISSOUBA against his predecessor, Denis Sassou NGUESSO, also involving supporters of the historic opponent, Bernard KOLELAS. More deadly, the June 5, 1997 civil war killed 30,000 people.
The stakes of the presidential election of March 21, 2021
As for the lessons, the first extract from the presidential election of 21 March 2021, writes the author, relates to the maturity of the Congolese political class and society not to yield to the spectre of general protests. The absence of candidates from other major Congolese opposition parties, the Upads, the MUST or the Focad group of parties, did not lead to a boycott of the election. On the contrary, the Congolese have massively exercised their civic duty. The resignation of political leaders towards a vote rendered irreversible by constitutional provisions and electoral law on the one hand;the Madingou Political Dialogue held on 26 November 2020, a few months before the date of the presidential election, on the other hand.
The second positive lesson drawn from the presidential election of 21 March 2021 is respect for the constitutional calendar, and the failure to resort to a constitutional revision. Confirmation of the acceptance of the classical mechanisms of a democracy and the virtues of a Republic of progress. Two major acts explain this teaching: the first act, the constitutional deadlines for the end of the presidential term, have been respected. Moreover, citing Article 69 of the Constitution, the Congolese President, Denis Sassou N’Guesso, stressed this during his message on the state of the nation to the parliamentarians gathered in Congress on December 22, 2020 in Brazzaville. As a result, Congo-Brazzaville operated according to the traditional mechanisms of a democracy.
The third lesson to be learned from the presidential election held on March 21, 2021, the lack of ideological matrices among the opposition political parties. The absence of an ideological corpus composing the interesting projects of society likely to drain the Congolese towards a new social dream next to the ordinary political dream. Also, the limits of obsessive opposition to the government or to the desperate search for collective opposition currents. A boring practice for Congolese already accustomed to systematic oppositions without a new ideology or in terms of current development issues, such as the Internet, places women in the state apparatus and business, child protection and prevention of delinquent children, education. Nor even in relation to the challenges of tomorrow, among others, urban design in relation to ecology, truly commercial agriculture to diversify the Congolese economy based mainly on oil revenues, health and medical research to revitalize basic health districts, interconnection of Congolese, African and European youth through NGOs and other socio-development organizationsthe presence in international finance to attract international investors to the country, Congo-Brazzaville.
Richard Ossoma-Lesmois, asks the Congolese to get used to the Constitution
Through his book Attrape et farce de monarque Congo, Richard Ossoma-Lesmois, asks the Congolese to get used to the Constitution, ordinary laws and the mechanisms of pluralism that they have adopted themselves at different epics of their collective history. Because the continual questioning of institutions, either by picturesque changes in the Constitution; or by repeated political dialogues with no real impact on the general well-being of the population, sometimes hinders good impulses of social emergence, economic and environmental excellence taken by the country since 2002.
In conclusion, the Congolese jurist and writer, believes that no constitution is perfect, except democracy itself. No form of political or institutional regime generates strong popular support, except for the pluralism of approaches and the mechanisms of citizen representation. A society based on culture, constitution, good political governance and the happiness of all should be founded.Because ignorance, forgetfulness or contempt for the Constitution and human rights inevitably precipitate the public misfortune and corruption of successive governments in Congo-Brazzaville.
Richard Ossoma-Lesmois was born on 30 December 1976 in Macouria, and resides in Fontenay-sous-Bois, France.He is a lawyer specialized in public international law and humanitarian law. Passionate about beautiful letters, he is also a writer.