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The Democratic Process in the DRC.

( Télécharger le fichier original )
par Bobo BONG-E-BONE
Wits University - Licence en science politique 2006

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D. The Second Republic (24 November 1965 - 24 April 1990)

Since 24 November 1965, the Mobutu Sese Seko's regime was both a military dictatorship and a new system of absolute power and strong personal rule, one of the most ferocious political powers in Africa post-decolonization(12(*)). According to Callaghy, Zairian absolutism is one variant of a relatively generalized pattern of early modern authoritarian rule in in Africa that draws heavily on a centralist and often corporatist authoritarian colonial tradition, resulting in centralizing patrimonial administrative states that are very organic-statist in orientation(13(*)), and the single party it is also an mechanism for creating the illusion of popular sovereignty and the formality of `mass participation and sometimes mobilization'.

On 20 May 1967, Mobutu Sese Seko created the `Mouvement Populaire de la Révolution' (MPR) or `Popular Revolutionary Movement', a political party where all citizens were automatically members of his own only single political party and then, all Zairians were born equal members of the MPR. Again in the same period, Mobutu edited a new constitution which established a strong centralized unitary system state, a strong presidential system and one chamber legislature, which doesn't have any power. In this time, the idea of `democracy' was completely absent and that is mean political pluralism was denied, abolished and replaced with a single-party state MPR, characterized by a monolithic political system and repression of any form of political dissidence.

Indeed, the cult of Mobutu Sese Seko has taken on distinctly religious and neotraditional overtones: Henceforth, the MPR must be considered as a church and it's Founder as a Messiah. Then, Mobutu has built a political religion around himself (14(*)), named `mobutisme', where corruption has been institutionalized. According to Boshab (15(*)), since 1974, the country never been a `Res publica' because of the institutionalization of MPR as state party, which denies any political competition and gave Mobutu the state power for ever.

This absolute regime deny any form of democracy but formally supported traditional authority, moved informally to emasculate it via the policy of administration control and the official policy was one of recognizing and supporting the autonomy.

It was clearly started in the report to Mobutu on Ordinance-Law 69/ 012: `the political orientation of the new regime aims at maintaining and reinforcing the powers of traditional authorities'.

Then, quickly Mobutu Sese Seko stressed strong centralization state power under his own authority and the country became his own `private property' as the time of the King Leopold II. Late in 1971, he renamed the country from Congo to Zaire. On the 30 November 1973, Mobutu announced the Zairianisation Measures (16(*)), which were designed to eject foreigners from the agricultural, commercial, and related sectors of the Zairian economy and replace them with nationals. The year 1974 can be regarded as the beginning of the Mobutu political foolish or crisis.

This political situation has continued till 24 April 1990, when under strong pressure from everywhere, Mobutu announced `democratization' process of the state and many dramatic political reforms, but in practice during its long mandate, the president Mobutu organized its self to put very far something like democracy in its real political program.

Mobutu and Kabila were totalitarian leaders, the decree no 003 from 27 May 1997 testifies the Laurent Desiré Kabila's power concentration.

Sometimes but not always the totalitarian state is characterized by a unitary system state, a strong presidential system and maybe one chamber legislature, which often doesn't have any power. This is a specific case in Democratic Republic of the Congo under two formers totalitarians leaders. In the majority of countries which have been ruled `totalitarianism' in Africa, the level of development is still very down, the Democratic Republic of the Congo specially.

During this second Republic, nothing like democracy can't be finding in Congo, only political confusion and terroristic ruling.

According to theories of state, the French philosopher Montesquieu wrote the Spirit of the Laws (1746), where he still talks about sovereignty, which he believed separated political power into three branches: executive power, legislative power and the power of judging.

All powers according to him must be equal at any time. Generally, when the three powers are united into the same organ or person, there cannot be liberty, and also there is no liberty when the judicial power is not separated from two others.

Constant experience shows us that every person who invested with monolithic power is often liable to abuse it, and to carry his authority as it will go. That is also exactly what they do many contemporary totalitarian leaders around the world ( Mobutu Sese Seko, Mussolini, Laurent Désiré Kabila, Adolph Hitler, Staline, Saddam Hussein, Idia Min Dada, Augusto Pinochet, Fidel Castro, Ceausescu, Antonio de Oliveira, Salazar, Francisco Franco, Jean-Bedel Bokassa,...).

Fort Lefort (17(*)), the essence of totalitarianism, the opposite of democracy, is a full negation of liberty, the absence of freedom and the ignorance of human rights. He believed that the struggle for human rights as a `generative principle' of democratic state. According to him, democracy should be seen, not so much as a specific institution, but rather as a form of modern state, that is, as a particular way in which modern society or state is articulated or instituted.

Generally, the totalitarian leader confused itself with state, `l' Etat c' est moi', I am the state, you must always follow me because I am your chief, your leader and then quite any form of opposition. `In my self, I am nothing, I am what I am only as an expression, an embodiment, and an executor of your will, my strength is your strength...'. This is a case which Louis XIV and same African leaders like Mobutu was identified themselves. According to Callaghy (18(*)) the president Mobutu always uses the politics of grandeur, which is reflected in his style of life. Mobutu measures all in terms of himself, his interests, prestige, and glory, but not for the country.

Examples of Mobutu politics of grandeur or foolish are the Inga dam project, the creation of Zaire's own airline and shipping fleet, and events like the Ali-Foreman `Fight of the Century' in October 1974.

In 1980, Mobutu in his foolish spent 260.55 million Belgian francs for the first visit of the former Pope John-Paul II to Zaire, including 30 million Belgian francs for 51 new Mercedes, without any budget planning.

Mobutu announced the democratic process in Congo but in reality it was not its own thinking because it put its self to opposite against this process.

* 12 See the UDPS speech defended in Sovereign National Conference by Professor Marcel Antoine LIHAU.

* 13 Op.cit p.409

* 14 Callaghy Thomas M.: op.cit p. 181

* 15 BOSHAB Evariste: La Trajectoitre Constitutionnelle de la RDC, in Rapport final du séminaire sur les

questions de la nationalité et de la future constitution de la RDC, Aout 2004, p.14.

* 16 Zaire the Political Economy of Underdevelopment. Edited by Guy Gran, 1979, p.62

* 17 LEFORT C.: The Political Forms of Modern Society. London, Polity Press, 1986, p.p. 366-367

* 18 Callaghy Thomas M.: op. cit. p.p. 183-184.

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