DRC govt, op­po­si­tion strike a deal on elec­tions

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Opinion/worldwide -

KINSHASA — The Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo (DRC) has re­port­edly struck a deal with part of the op­po­si­tion on the se­quence of a se­ries of up­com­ing elec­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to Voice of Amer­ica, the two sides agreed that the pres­i­den­tial vote would be com­bined with leg­isla­tive and pro­vin­cial elec­tions, with lo­cal polls to be held later. How­ever, no spe­cific dates were set. The de­vel­op­ment re­moved a ma­jor ob­sta­cle to break­ing a dan­ger­ous po­lit­i­cal im­passe.

“This opens the way to a cal­en­dar that will men­tion the ex­act date of the han­dover of power be­tween the old pres­i­dent of the repub­lic ... and the newly elected pres­i­dent,” Vi­tal Kamerhe, one of the lead­ing ne­go­tia­tors for the op­po­si­tion was quoted as say­ing.

This came af­ter the op­po­si­tion on Mon­day walked out of key talks aimed at avert­ing a po­lit­i­cal cri­sis in the cen­tral African coun­try. The op­po­si­tion called the talks a “dead end”.

Jus­tice Min­is­ter Alexis Thambwe Mwamba, who rep­re­sented Pres­i­dent Joseph Ka­bila’s po­lit­i­cal sup­port­ers in the talks, con­firmed the agree­ment. — AFP CAPE TOWN — South African-born Cana­dian judge Robin Camp is fac­ing pos­si­ble re­moval from the bench for com­ments he made to the com­plainant in a 2014 rape case.

Camp’s re­marks to the woman, who de­scribed how she was raped over a kitchen sink at a house party when she was 19, were mis­guided and alarm­ing, ac­cord­ing to the no­tice of al­le­ga­tions put to him by the Cana­dian Ju­di­cial Coun­cil, a fed­eral body that re­views judges. Camp was born and ed­u­cated in South Africa. “Why didn’t you just sink your bot­tom down into the basin so he couldn’t pen­e­trate you?” he asked her.

“Why couldn’t you just keep your knees to­gether? . . . If she skews her pelvis slightly she can avoid him.

“Sex and pain some­times go to­gether,” the judge added. “I don’t be­lieve there’s any talk of an at­tack re­ally . . . There is no real talk of real force.”

“Young women want to have sex, par­tic­u­larly if they’re drunk,” Camp stated. “She knew she was drunk … Is not an onus on her to be more care­ful?”

The judge ac­quit­ted the ac­cused. The ver­dict was ap­pealed and a new trial would be­gin in Novem­ber, CNN re­ported. The coun­cil would de­cide whether Camp would be re­moved from the Fed­eral Court, af­ter hear­ing clos­ing ar­gu­ments on Mon­day.

He apol­o­gised for his com­ments, Daily Mag­a­zine re­ported. “The per­son I most want to apol­o­gise to is the com­plainant,” he said in his three-hour tes­ti­mony to the coun­cil.

“I can see she’s a frag­ile per­son­al­ity. Her back­ground has not been easy. Her life has not been easy. And I was rude and in­sult­ing. By ex­ten­sion, I have caused un­hap­pi­ness among other peo­ple, mainly women and some men who have been sex­u­ally abused. I’m sorry about those.

“Cana­di­ans de­serve bet­ter of their judges. I must apol­o­gise to the ju­di­ciary. I’ve made the role of each judge in this coun­try more dif­fi­cult and I’m sorry for that.”

In his clos­ing sub­mis­sion, Camp’s lawyer Frank Ad­dario told the in­quiry he should keep his job be­cause his mis­con­duct was lim­ited to one case. It was the “re­sult of a knowl­edge deficit and a fail­ure of ed­u­ca­tion, not an­i­mus or bad char­ac­ter”, CBC News re­ported.

Ad­dario ar­gued that ig­no­rance about the so­cial con­text sur­round­ing sex­ual as­sault law was wide­spread and there was more pub­lic value in the “ed­u­ca­tion and de­nun­ci­a­tion” of Camp, rather than his ter­mi­na­tion.

“He will not make state­ments like this again,” Ad­dario added. — AFP

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