刚果(金):受挫的民主进程
刚果(金):受挫的民主进程
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Briefing 73

刚果(金):受挫的民主进程

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概述

刚果民主共和国〈简称刚果(金),以区别于刚果共和国——刚果(布)〉的民主进程四面受阻,政府依然摇摇欲坠。2006年,当约瑟夫·卡比拉成为刚果(金)首任民选总统时,国际社会一片欢呼,称这一事件为和平道路中的一个里程碑。而如今分权制衡的制度几乎已然形同虚设;总统府裁减了行政、立法和司法三方的权力;公民自由屡受威胁;关键的机构改革——地方分权和安全部门重组——无重大进展。除非刚果(金)当局在2010年为民主改革和机构重整注入新的动力,那么转型中所取得的进步将付之东流,而国际社会为这一泱泱大国的稳定所作的努力也将前功尽弃。刚果(金)的国际伙伴必须将民主和机构改革作为与卡比拉政府对话的中心议题,并使之与发展援助挂钩。

2006年,刚果(金)通过可信的选举投票产生了国家和地区领导人,这是史无前例的。在此前一年,刚果(金)人民还通过全民公决批准了国家历史上最具民主精神的宪法,从而巩固了进行大刀阔斧的政治和经济改革的决心,并且肯定了自独立以来一直未能得以实现的民主愿望。新宪法实施的前提是根本的机构改革,比如地方分权和安全部门的彻底改组。这项政治工程萌芽于为结束多年战乱而在太阳城举行的谈判及二十世纪九十年代初期进行的全国大会。它明确指出持久和平的基础是中央与各省间的势力平衡及在各级政府建立真正意义上的分权制衡。

卡比拉在竞选中热情接受了这一蓝图,赢得了五年任期。他许诺要重建倾颓的政府,打击腐败,规划了重建刚果(金)计划的五个侧重点——基础设施、医疗卫生、教育、住房和就业,并承诺深化民主,尤其是尊重法制,开展地方选举。然而,四年即将过去,卡比拉在以上各方面都几乎毫无建树。相反,卡比拉总统府力图压制其它政府部门,并自建了独立于政府的决策网。

当局曾开展了一次有政治偏私的反腐运动,从而破坏了司法部门的独立性。政府还利用金钱和迫害双管齐下,剪除反对力量,扑灭2006年以来爆发的地方叛乱。卡比拉还打算以扫除地方分权道路上的障碍为由来修改宪法。但是,任何以强化总统权力或压制反对力量为目的的宪法修正案都会进一步动摇本已残损的分权制衡机制。在首届议会任期结束前不太可能举行地方选举,从而应于2011年举行全国大选也希望渺茫。

尽管刚果(金)正在走向专制独裁,但曾为这一国家的和平进程作出诸多努力的国际社会多数时间还保持着缄默。刚果(金)政府对任何遗留的国际监管机构都极为敏感。当局以主权为由,要求联合国特派团于2011年夏天前全部撤离,而且宣布对大选的组织活动全权负责。而与此同时,刚果(金)政府正在进行积极的谈判,以求在2010年6月30日的独立五十周年纪念日前免除大笔的债务。由于刚果(金)幅员辽阔,内部纷争众多,国内的不满情绪很容易引发地区叛乱进而导致局势失控。在这样的情况下,需要制定新的国际策略来强化民主机制,防止新的不稳定因素产生。

深化民主进程对刚果(金)的中长期稳定来说至关重要。若要创造新的势头来扭转当前的趋势,国际社会不能仅仅将机构改革和立法项目作为技术操作程序来看待,而应视之为考验刚果(金)政府改善执政诚意的试金石,同时在今后就提供援助与刚果(金)当局进行对话时,应将改革作为中心议题之一。以下是重启民主改造的必要步骤:

  1. 立即着手准备2011年大选,建立期待已久的全国独立选举委员会,并为之准备适当的拨款。同时,目前主管选举的部门应为大选制定清晰的执行计划。该计划将成为与捐助方谈判的基础。
  2. 将打击腐败制度化。应设立新的独立机构来详细制定和实施反腐战略。这一战略应建立在民间社会的努力和其它冲突后国家的经验之上。
  3. 利用法律和制度来保障基本权利。议会应依据宪法纲要建立全国人权委员会,遵照《联合国反酷刑公约》重审刑法典,限制国家情报机构的权力,并批准法律来保护新闻工作者、人权活动者及人权遭侵害的受害者和见证人。
  4. 提高各省和地方政府的执政能力并给予适当拨款,从而使地方分权得以顺利进行。中央政府应建立由国际和国内专家组成的委员会来公开决定地方选举的时间和方式。如果地方选举不能在2011年大选前举行,应详细列出新的时间表。
  5. 国际社会和刚果(金)政府应就安全部门改革建立明晰的伙伴关系,目标是在目前的纯技术手段中加入政治考量。为此应设立基准来衡量进展,并设定相应的制约条款。
  6. 将发展援助与民主执政挂钩。由于捐助者对刚果(金)有举足轻重的影响,因此它们应充分利用财政和政治筹码来支持民主机构的建设,并敦促刚果(金)新的亚洲伙伴参与到这一努力中来。因为,一个更稳定有效的刚果(金)政府将会是一个更好的合作和商业伙伴,而这些亚洲国家也同样会从中受益。

 内罗毕/布鲁塞尔, 2010年4月8日

Overview

The consolidation of democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is stalled on almost all fronts, and the Congolese regime remains fragile. When Joseph Kabila became the first democratically elected president in 2006, the international community celebrated the election as a milestone in the peace process, but today checks and balances barely exist, as the president’s office has curtailed the powers of the government, parliament and judiciary. Civil liberties are regularly threatened, and key institutional reforms – decentralisation and the security sector – have made no significant progress. Unless the Congolese political authorities give new impetus to democratic transformation and institutional consolidation in 2010, the gains made during the transition could be at risk and the international investment in the country’s stabilisation wasted. The Congo’s international partners must place democratisation and institutional reform at the centre of their dialogue with Kabila’s government and link the provision of development aid to their progress.

In 2006, for the first time in the Congo’s history, its people chose their national and regional leaders through credible elections. A year before, the most democratic constitution yet had been adopted by referendum, entrenching the apparent determination to radically change political and economic governance and recognise democratic aspirations that had been unfulfilled since independence. Implementation of this new constitution demanded fundamental institutional reforms, such as decentralisation and a complete overhaul of the security sector. This political project, whose origins lay in the negotiations to end years of war at Sun City, as well as the national conference of the early 1990s, clearly linked the return of lasting peace to the principle of a balance of power between central government and the provinces and the establishment of genuine checks and balances at both levels.

Kabila won a five-year term by embracing this vision during the election campaign. He promised to fix a collapsed state and fight corruption; elaborated a program to rebuild the Congo through five strategic priorities – infrastructure, health, education, housing and employment; and pledged further democratisation, notably by respecting the rule of law and holding local elections. Nearly four years on, however, the record is abysmal. His presidency is seeking to impose its power on all branches of the state and maintain parallel networks of decision-making.

The regime has undermined the independence of the judicial branch by running an anti-corruption campaign that is politically biased. It has used money and coercion to eliminate challenges to its authority and to fight against the local rebellions that have occurred since 2006. Kabila is contemplating amending the constitution on the pretext of addressing difficulties in implementing decentralisation. Any constitutional amendment aiming at concentrating more power at the level of the presidency or controlling dissenting voices, however, would pose a threat to already weakened mechanisms of checks and balances. It is unlikely local elections will be held before the end of parliament’s first term, putting the prospect of general elections in 2011 at risk.

Despite this authoritarian trend, the international community, which has invested so much in the Congo’s peace process, has remained mostly silent. The Congolese authorities demonstrate an extreme sensitivity to any remaining indications of international tutelage. Invoking sovereignty, the Congolese government has called for the withdrawal of the UN mission (MONUC) to be completed by summer 2011, and has announced that it will take charge of organising the general elections. It is simultaneously engaged in negotiations to secure massive debt relief before the 50th anniversary of independence on 30 June 2010. Given its size and its tense internal politics, the DRC is prone to local rebellions fuelled by domestic discontent that can easily get out of control. In this context, a new international strategy is needed to support democratic consolidation and to prevent new risks of destabilisation.

Furthering the democratic agenda is vital to the Congo’s mid- and long-term stabilisation. Creating new momentum to reverse current trends will require that institutional reforms and legislative programs are not considered merely as technical processes, but as tests of the government’s political will to improve governance and as a central part of any dialogue on additional aid. The following steps are necessary to restart democratic transformation:

- Beginning to prepare for the 2011 general elections now. The long-awaited National Independent Electoral Commission should be established and a proper budget should be allocated at the same time. In the meantime, the current electoral authorities should present a clear operational plan for those elections as a basis for discussion with donors.

- Institutionalising the fight against corruption. An anti-corruption strategy based on civil society’s efforts and other post-conflict countries’ experiences should be elaborated and implemented by newly-created independent agencies.

- Guaranteeing fundamental rights through law and institutions. Parliament should create the National Human Rights Commission as outlined in the constitution, review the penal code to comply with the UN Convention against Torture, limit the powers of the national intelligence agency and pass a law protecting journalists, human rights activists and victims and witnesses of human rights abuses.

- Harmonising the decentralisation process with the capacity building and budgetary allocations of the provinces and local governments. The government should set up a commission of national and international experts to establish openly when and how to hold local elections. In the event these elections cannot be held before the 2011 general elections, a new timeframe should be elaborated.

- Establishing a clear partnership between the international community and the Congolese government on security sector reform that aims to add a political dimension to the current technical approach. Benchmarks should be set to measure progress, and conditionality should be determined.

- Connecting development aid and democratic governance. Given the major role played by donors in the Congo, they should use their financial and political leverage to support the process of building democratic institutions and seek to engage the country’s new Asian partners in this strategy, who would benefit equally from a more stable and effective regime with which to cooperate and do business.

Nairobi/Brussels, 8 April 2010

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