Constitution of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo

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Contents

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Preamble

We, the Congolese people, guided by the ideas of scientific socialism, moved by a desire to guarantee unity and territorial integrity, conscious of our internationalist responsibility, committed to freedom and equality, convinced that only through African unity will the peoples of Africa be free of foreign domination, and committed to a more just and humane society for ourselves and our posterity, in the spirit of the Congolese Revolution of 1964, do solemnly ordain and promulgate this Constitution.

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Article I
National Territory

The national territory comprises the entirety of the former nation-states of the Republic of the Congo (Léopoldville), formerly the Belgian Congo, as well as the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville), formerly the French Congo. All territory belonging to either of these two nation-states by historic or legal title, including, but not limited to, land, the territorial sea, and air space, is the sovereign territory of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo.

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Article II
Declaration of Principles and State Policies

Section I
The Democratic People's Republic of the Congo is a socialist state of the whole people, expressing the will and interests of the workers, peasants, and intelligentsia, the working people of all the tribes of the country. Disruption of the socialist system by any organization or individual is prohibited.

Section II
All power in the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo belongs to the people. All organs of state must rely on the people, maintain close contact with them, heed their opinions, and accept their supervision. All personnel of organs of state must be loyal to the people's democratic system, observe the Constitution and the law, and wholeheartedly serve the people.

Section III
The Congolese state and all its bodies function on the basis of socialist law, ensure the maintenance of law and order, and safeguard the interests of society and the rights and freedoms of citizens. State organizations, public organizations, and officials shall observe the Constitution of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo and Congolese laws.

Section IV
Major matters of state shall be submitted to nationwide discussion and put to a popular vote (referendum).

Section V
The leading and guiding force of Congolese society and the nucleus of its political system, of all state organizations and public organizations, is the Congolese Revolutionary Socialist Party. The CRSP exists for the people and serves the people. The Congolese Revolutionary Socialist Party, armed with Marxism-Leninism, determines the general perspectives of the development of society and the course of the home and foreign policy of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo, directs the great constructive work of the Congolese people, and imparts a planned, systematic and theoretically substantiated character to their struggle for the victory of communism. All party organizations shall function within the framework of the Constitution of the Congolese Revolutionary Socialist Party. The Congolese Revolutionary Socialist Party and all organs of state practice democratic centralism.

Section VI
The Congolese socialist state recognizes and stimulates the social and mass organizations, which arose from the historic process of struggles of our people. These organizations gather in their midst the various sectors of the population, represent specific interests of the same and incorporate them to the tasks of the edification, consolidation and defense of the socialist society. Work collectives take part in discussing and deciding state and public affairs, in planning production and social development, in training and placing personnel, and in discussing and deciding matters pertaining to the management of enterprises and institutions, and the use of funds allocated both for developing production and for social and cultural purposes and financial incentives. Work collectives promote socialist emulation, the spread of progressive methods of work, and the strengthening of production discipline, educate their members in the spirit of communist morality, and strive to enhance their political consciousness and raise their cultural level and skills and qualifications.

Section VII
(1) The Democratic People's Republic of the Congo espouses the principles of anti-imperialism, internationalism, and non-alignment.

(2) The Democratic People's Republic of the Congo's relations with other states are based on observance of the following principles: sovereign equality; mutual renunciation of the use or threat of force; inviolability of frontiers; territorial integrity of states; peaceful settlement of disputes; non-intervention in internal affairs; respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; the equal rights of peoples and their right to decide their own destiny; co-operation among states; and fulfilment in good faith of obligations arising from the generally recognised principles and rules of international law; and unity of the African people in the face of the neocolonialist and imperialist policy which seeks to limit and subordinate the sovereignty of our peoples, and worsen the economic conditions of exploitation and oppression of the African continent.

(3) The Democratic People's Republic of the Congo considers wars of aggression and of conquest international crimes; recognizes the legitimacy of the struggle for national liberation, as well as of armed resistance to aggression; and considers that its solidarity with those under attack and with the peoples that struggle for their liberation and self-determination constitutes its internationalist duty.

(4) The Democratic People's Republic of the Congo shall not join any international military organization or permit the establishment of foreign military bases on its national territory.

Section VIII
(1) The state protects and improves the environment in which people live and the ecological environment. It prevents and controls pollution and other public hazards.

(2) The state organizes and encourages afforestation and the protection of forests.

Section IX
The state maintains public order and suppresses treasonable and other criminal activities that endanger state security; it penalizes criminal activities that endanger public security and disrupt the socialist economy, as well as other criminal activities; and it punishes and reforms criminals.

Section X
The Democratic People's Republic of the Congo is a secular state. The secularism of the state shall be inviolable.

Section XI
(1) The Congolese People's Armed Forces is the protector of the people and the state. Its goal is to strengthen national defense, resist aggression, defend the fatherland, safeguard the people's peaceful labor, participate in national reconstruction, and do its best to serve the people.

(2) The state strengthens the revolutionization, modernization and regularization of the armed forces in order to increase national defense capability.

Section XII
(1) The Democratic People's Republic of the Congo protects the lawful rights and interests of foreigners within Congolese territory; foreigners on Congolese territory must abide by the laws of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo.

(2) The Democratic People's Republic of the Congo grants asylum to those who are persecuted because of their ideals or their struggles for democratic rights; against imperialism, fascism, colonialism and neocolonialism; against discrimination and racism; for national liberation; for the rights of workers, peasants and students and the redress of their grievances; for their progressive political, scientific, artistic and literary activities; for socialism and peace.

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Article III
Citizens

Section I
The following are citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo:

(1) Those who are citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo at the time of the adoption of this Constitution.

(2) Those whose fathers and mothers are citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo.

(3) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.

Section II
A female citizen of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo who marries an alien retains her Congolese citizenship, unless by her act or omission she is deemed, under the law, to have renounced her citizenship.

Section III
Congolese citizenship may be lost or reacquired in the manner provided by law.

Section IV
A natural-born citizen is one who is a citizen of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect his Congolese citizenship.

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Article IV
Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens

Section I
All citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo are equal before the law.

Section II
(1) The state shall effectively guarantee genuine democratic rights and liberties as well as the material and cultural well-being of its citizens.

(2) Every citizen is entitled to the rights and at the same time must perform the duties prescribed by the Constitution and the law.

(3) In the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo, the rights and duties of citizens are based on the collectivist principle "One for all and all for one."

(4) The rights and freedom of citizens shall be amplified with the consolidation and development of the social system.

Section III
(1) Women in the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo enjoy equal rights with men in all spheres of political, economic, cultural, social, and domestic life.

(2) For equal work, women enjoy equal pay with men. The state ensures that women workers and office employees have fully paid periods of the leave before and after childbirth.

(3) The state protects the mother and child and ensures the development of maternity hospitals, crèches, and kindergartens.

(4) The family, the basic nucleus of social organization, shall be protected by the state, whether based on marriage or de facto union.

(5) Men and women shall be equal within the family, enjoying the same rights and having the same duties.

Section IV
All the tribes living on Congolese territory are equal in rights and duties. The state has the duty to maintain and develop the solidarity between the various tribes. All acts of discrimination against, or oppression of, any tribe, all actions which undermine the unity of the tribes are strictly prohibited. All tribes have the right to preserve or reform their own customs and habits, to use their spoken and written languages, and to develop their own national culture.

Section V
All citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo who have reached the age of eighteen have the right and the duty to vote, and those who have reached the age of twenty-one have the right to stand for election, whatever their nationality, race, sex, social origin, religion, belief, property status, education, occupation, or length of residence, except insane persons and persons deprived of political rights according to law.

Section VI
(1) Citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession, and of demonstration, provided it does not conflict with public order and the national interest.

(2) The manner of the exercise of the rights set out in the foregoing paragraph and adequate provisions to prevent and punish any abuse thereof shall be regulated by law.

(3) Groupings whose aims or activities are contrary to the law, and those that, even indirectly, pursue political objectives through organizations of a military, paramilitary or militarized character, secret organizations and those with racist, fascist or tribalist ideologies shall be prohibited.

Section VII
(1) Citizens enjoy freedom of religious belief; they may practice or not practice a religion.

(2) No one may use religion as a pretext for drawing in foreign forces or for harming the state and social order.

Section VIII
(1) No citizen may be arrested except with the approval or by decision of a people's procuratorate or by decision of a people's court, and arrests must be made by a public security organ; all accused shall be guaranteed the right to defense and the right to legal aid and counsel.

(2) The state shall make provision to ensure that justice shall not be denied owing to insufficient economic means.

(3) No one shall be sentenced for an act not considered a crime at the time when it was committed.

(4) The penal law shall apply retroactively only when beneficial to the accused.

(5) The accused shall be presumed to be innocent until a judicial decision is taken by the court.

(6) Preventive detention shall be permitted only in cases provided for by the law, which shall establish the limits and periods thereof. Any citizen subject to preventive detention shall be taken before a competent judge to legalize the detention and be tried within the period provided for by law or released.

(7) No citizen shall be arrested without being informed of the charge at the time of arrest.

(8) Any arrested citizen shall have the right to receive visits from family members and friends, and to correspond therewith, without prejudice to the conditions and restrictions provided for by law.

(9) Any citizen sentenced shall have the right to appeal to the competent court or to the People's Supreme Court against the judicial decision taken in accordance with the law.

(10) To prevent any abuse of power through imprisonment or illegal detention, a writ of habeas corpus may be presented to the competent legal court by the person concerned or any other citizen. The right to habeas corpus shall be regulated by law.

(11) Citizens shall have the right to contest and take legal action against any acts that violate their rights as set out in the present constitutional law and other legislation.

(12) No citizen may be subjected to torture or any other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.

Section IX
The personal dignity of citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo is inviolable. Insult, libel, false accusation, or false incrimination directed against citizens by any means is prohibited.

Section X
(1) The residences of citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo are inviolable. Unlawful search of, or intrusion into, a citizen's residence is prohibited.

(2) Freedom and privacy of correspondence of citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo are protected by law. No organization or individual may, on any ground, infringe upon citizens' freedom and privacy of correspondence, except in cases where, to meet the needs of state security or of criminal investigation, public security or procuratorial organs are permitted to censor correspondence in accordance with procedures prescribed by law.

(3) Citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo have the right to criticize and make suggestions regarding any state organ or functionary. Citizens have the right to make to relevant state organs complaints or charges against, or exposures of, any state organ or functionary for violation of the law or dereliction of duty; but fabrication or distortion of facts for purposes of libel or false incrimination is prohibited.

(4) The state organ concerned must deal with complaints, charges or exposures made by citizens in a responsible manner after ascertaining the facts. No one may suppress such complaints, charges and exposures or retaliate against the citizens making them.

(5) Citizens who have suffered losses as a result of infringement of their civic rights by any state organ or functionary have the right to compensation in accordance with the law.

Section XI
Citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo enjoy freedom of residence and movement.

Section XII
(1) Citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo have the right as well as the duty to work.

(2) Through various channels, the state creates conditions for employment, enhances occupational safety and health, improves working conditions and, on the basis of expanded production, increases remuneration for work and welfare benefits.

(3) Work is a matter of honor for every citizen who is able to work. All working people in state-owned enterprises and in urban and rural economic collectives should approach their work as the masters of the country that they are. The state promotes socialist labor emulation, and commends and rewards model and advanced workers. The state encourages citizens to take part in voluntary labor.

(4) The state provides necessary vocational training for citizens before they are employed.

Section XIII
(1) Working people in the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo have the right to rest.

(2) The state expands facilities for the rest and recuperation of the working people and prescribes working hours and vacations for workers and staff.

Section XIV
The state applies the system of retirement for workers and staff of enterprises and institutions and for functionaries of organs of state according to law. The livelihood of retired personnel is ensured by the state and society.

Section XV
(A) Citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo have the right to material assistance from the state and society when they are old, ill, homeless, or disabled. The state develops and provides for free social insurance, social relief, housing, and medical and health services that are required for citizens to enjoy this right.

(2) The state and society ensure the livelihood of disabled members of the armed forces, provide pensions to the families of martyrs and give preferential treatment to the families of military personnel.

(3) The state and society help make arrangements for the work, livelihood and education of the blind, deaf-mute and other handicapped citizens.

Section XVI
(1) Citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo have the duty as well as the right to receive education. The state shall provide education to all pupils and students free of charge and grant allowances to students of universities and colleges.

(2) The state promotes the all-round development of children and young people, morally, intellectually, politically, and physically.

Section XVII
Citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo have the freedom to engage in scientific research, literary and artistic creation and other cultural pursuits. The state encourages and assists creative endeavors conducive to the interests of the people that are made by citizens engaged in education, science, technology, literature, art and other cultural work.

Section XVIII
The Democratic People's Republic of the Congo protects the legitimate rights and interests of Congolese nationals residing abroad and protects the lawful rights and interests of returned overseas Congolese and of the family members of Congolese nationals residing abroad.

Section XIX
Citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo, in exercising their freedoms and rights, may not infringe upon the interests of the state, of society or of the collective, or upon the lawful freedoms and rights of other citizens.

Section XX
(1) Citizens shall firmly safeguard the political and ideological unity and solidarity of the people.

(2) Citizens shall constantly increase their revolutionary vigilance and devotedly fight for the security of the state.

Section XXI
Citizens shall strictly observe the laws of the state and the socialist standards of life and defend their honor and dignity as citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo.

Section XXII
Citizens shall take good care of state and communal property, combat all forms of misappropriation and waste and manage the nation's economy diligently.

Section XXIII
National defense is the supreme duty and honor of all able-bodied citizens. Citizens shall defend the country and serve in the Congolese People's Armed Forces as required by law.

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Article V
Economic and Social System

Section I
(1) In the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo rules the socialist system of economy based on the people’s socialist ownership of the fundamental means of production and on the abolition of the exploitation of man by man.

(2) In the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo also rules the principle of socialist distribution of "from each according to his capacity, to each according to his work." The law establishes the provisions which guarantee the effective fulfillment of this principle.

Section II
Socialist state property, which is the property of the entire people, comprises:

(1) The lands that do not belong to small farmers or to cooperatives formed by them, the subsoil, mines, mineral, plant, and animal resources in the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo’s maritime economic area, forests, waters and means of communications.

(2) The factories, chief means of transportation and all those enterprises, banks, and facilities that have been nationalized and expropriated from the imperialist, landholders, and bourgeoisie, as well as the factories, enterprises, and economic facilities and scientific, social, cultural, and sports centers built, fostered or purchased by the state and those to be built, fostered or purchased by the state in the future.

Section III
(1) Property ownership may not be transferred to natural persons or legal entities, save for exceptional cases in which the partial or total transfer of an economic objective is carried out for the development of the country and does not affect the political, social and economic foundations of the state, prior to approval by the National Revolutionary Assembly.

(2) The transfer of other property rights to state enterprises and other entities authorized to fulfill this objective will be prescribed by law.

Section IV
(1) The state organizes, directs and controls the economic life of the nation according to a plan that guarantees the programmed development of the country, with the purpose of strengthening the socialist system, of increasingly satisfying the material and cultural needs of society and of citizens, of promoting the flourishing of human beings and their integrity, and of serving the progress and security of the country.

(2) The workers of all branches of the economy and of the other spheres of social life have an active and conscious participation in the elaboration and execution of the production and development plans.

Section V
The state directly administers the goods that make up the socialist property of the entire people’s, or may create and organize enterprises and entities to administer them, whose structure, powers, functions and the system of their relations are prescribed by law. These enterprises and entities only answer for their debts through their financial resources, within the limits prescribed by law. The state does not answer for debts incurred by the enterprises, entities and other legal bodies, and neither do these answer for those incurred by the state.

Section VI
The state controls and directs foreign trade. The law establishes the state institutions and officials authorized to:

(1) Create foreign trade enterprises.

(2) Standardize and regulate export and import transactions.

(3) Determine the natural persons or legal bodies with judicial powers to carry out these export and import transactions and to sign trade agreements.

Section VII
(1) The state recognizes the right of small farmers to legal ownership of their lands and other real estate and personal property necessary for the exploitation of their land, as prescribed by law.

(2) Small farmers may only incorporate their lands to agricultural production cooperatives with the previous authorization of the competent state body and fulfillment of the other legal requirements. They may also sell their lands, swap them or transfer them for another title to the state and agricultural production cooperatives, or to small farmers in the cases, forms and conditions prescribed by law, without detriment to the preferential right of the state to the purchase of the land while paying a fair price.

(3) Land leases, sharecropping, mortgages and all other acts which entail a lien on the land or cession to private individuals of the rights to the land which is the property of the small farmers are all prohibited.

(4) The state supports the small farmers’ individual production which contributes to the national economy.

Section VIII
(1) Small farmers have the right to group themselves, in the way and following the requirements prescribed by law both for the purpose of agricultural production and for obtaining state loans and services.

(2) The establishment of agricultural production cooperatives in the instances and ways prescribed by law is authorized. Ownership of the cooperatives, which constitutes an advanced and efficient form of socialist production, is recognized by the state. The agricultural production cooperatives manage, own use and dispose of the goods they own, as prescribed by law and by its regulations.

(3) Land owned by cooperatives may not be seized or taxed and its ownership may be transferred to other cooperatives or to the state, according to the causes and as prescribed by law.

(4) The state gives all possible support to this form of agricultural production.

Section IX
(1) The state guarantees the right to personal ownership of earnings and savings derived from one’s own work, of the dwelling to which one has legal title and of the other possessions and objects which serve to satisfy one’s material and cultural needs.

(2) Likewise, the state guarantees the right of citizens to ownership of their personal or family work tools. These tools may not be used to obtain earning derived from the exploitation of the work of others.

(3) The law establishes the amount of goods owned by a person which can be seized.

Section X
The state recognizes the right of political, mass and social organizations to ownership of the goods intended for the fulfillment of their objectives.

Section XI
(1) The state recognizes the right to legal ownership of joint ventures, companies and economic associations which are created as prescribed by law.

(2) The use enjoyment and disposal of the goods owned by the above-mentioned entities are ruled by that prescribed by law and by accords, as well as by their statutes and regulations.

Section XII
(1) The state recognizes the right of citizens to inherit legal title to a place of residence and to other personal goods and chattels. The land and other goods linked to production in the small farmers’ property may be inherited by and only be awarded to those heirs who work the land, save exceptions and as prescribed by law.

(2) The law prescribes the cases, conditions and ways under which the goods of cooperative ownership may by inherited.

Section XIII
(1) The expropriation of property for reasons of public benefit or social interest and with due compensation is authorized.

(2) The law establishes the method for the expropriation and the bases on which the need for and usefulness of this action is to be determined, as well as the form of compensation, taking into account the interest and the economic and social needs of the person whose property has been expropriated.

Section XIV
Anybody who suffers damages unjustly caused by a state official or employee while in the performance of his public functions has the right to claim and obtain the corresponding indemnification as prescribed by law.

Section XV
(1) The state recognizes the close links the environment and natural resources have with sustainable economic and social development to make human life more rational and to ensure the survival, well-being, and security of present and future generations. The application of this policy corresponds to the competent bodies.

(2) It is the duty of citizens to contribute to the protection of the waters, atmosphere, the conservation of the soil, flora, fauna and nature’s entire rich potential.

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Article VI
The National Revolutionary Assembly

Section I
The National Revolutionary Assembly is the highest organ of state authority in the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo.

Section II
The National Revolutionary Assembly is the only legislative authority of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo.

Section III
(1) The term of office of the National Revolutionary Assembly is five years.

(2) A new National Revolutionary Assembly must be elected two months before the term of office of the sitting National Revolutionary Assembly expires.

(3) The electoral procedure and the number of deputies are prescribed by law.

(4) In the event of war or other exceptional circumstances, the National Revolutionary Assembly may decide to prolong its term of office and take necessary measures to ensure its activities and those of deputies.

Section IV
The National Revolutionary Assembly meets twice a year, convened by its Standing Committee. The Standing Committee of the National Revolutionary Assembly may convene extraordinary sessions of the National Assembly according to its decisions, or at the request of the Council of Ministers or of a minimum of one-third of the total number of deputies. The Standing Committee of the National Revolutionary Assembly must convene the new National Revolutionary Assembly not later than two months after the elections.

Section IV
When the National Revolutionary Assembly meets, it elects a Presidium to conduct its sittings.

Section V
Laws and other decisions of the National Revolutionary Assembly require a simple majority vote of all deputies to the National Revolutionary Assembly, except for the case specified in Article XI.

Section VI
Laws must be promulgated not later than fifteen days after their adoption by the National Revolutionary Assembly.

Section VII
The National Revolutionary Assembly exercises the following functions:

(1) To enact and amend the Constitution.

(2) To enact laws.

(3) To supervise the enforcement of the Constitution.

(4) To elect the President and Vice President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo.

(5) To choose the Prime Minister of the government upon the recommendation of the President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo and the vice-premiers and the other component members of the Council of Ministers upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

(6) To choose the vice president and the other component members of the National Defense Council upon the recommendation of the President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo.

(7) To elect the President of the People's Supreme Court.

(8) To elect the Procurator General of the People's Supreme Procuracy.

(9) To remove the President and Vice President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo, the Prime Minister, the vice premiers and the other component members of the National Defense Council, the president of the People's Supreme Court, and the Procurator General of the People's Supreme Procuracy.

(10) To decide upon national economic plans.

(11) To examine and approve the state budget and the financial report.

(12) To fix taxes.

(13) To decide the establishment and abolition of ministries and of organs having a status equal to that of a ministry.

(14) To ratify the boundaries of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the central authority.

(15) To decide on general amnesties.

(16) To decide on questions of war and peace.

(17) To exercise other necessary functions as defined by the National Revolutionary Assembly.

Section VIII
The Standing Committee of the National Revolutionary Assembly is a permanent executive body of the National Revolutionary Assembly and is elected by it. The Standing Committee is composed of the Chairman; the vice-chairmen; the Secretary General and other members.

Section IX
The Standing Committee of the National Revolutionary Assembly is responsible to the National Revolutionary Assembly and reports to it. The National Revolutionary Assembly has power to remove any member of the Standing Committee.

Section X
The Standing Committee National Revolutionary Assembly exercises the following functions:

(1) To proclaim and conduct the election of deputies to the National Revolutionary Assembly.

(2) To convene the National Revolutionary Assembly.

(3) To interpret the laws.

(4) To enact decrees.

(5) To decide on referenda.

(6) To supervise the work of the Council of Ministers, the People's Supreme Court, and the People's Supreme Procuracy.

(7) To revise or annul decisions, orders, and directives of the Council of Ministers which contravene the Constitution, laws, and decrees; to revise or annul inappropriate decisions issued by the people's councils of regions, provinces, autonomous territories, and districts under the central authority; and to dissolve the above-mentioned people's councils if they do serious harm to the people's interests.

(8) To decide on the appointment or removal of the vice-premiers and the other component members of the Council of Ministers when the National Revolutionary Assembly is not in session.

(9) To appoint or remove the vice presidents and judges of the People's Supreme Court.

(10) To appoint or remove the deputy procurators general and procurators of the People's Supreme Procuracy.

(11) To decide on the appointment or removal of plenipotentiary diplomatic representatives of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo to foreign states.

(12) To decide on the ratification or abrogation of treaties concluded with foreign states, except when the Standing Committee considers it necessary to refer such ratification or abrogation to the National Revolutionary Assembly for decision.

(13) To decide on military, diplomatic, and other grades and ranks.

(14) To decide on the granting of pardons.

(15) To institute and decide on the award of state orders, medals, and titles of honor.

(16) To decide, when the National Revolutionary Assembly is not in session, on the proclamation of a state of war in the event of armed attack on the country.

(17) To decide on general or partial mobilization.

(18) To decide on the enforcement of martial law throughout the country or in certain areas.

Apart from these functions, the National Revolutionary Assembly may, when necessary, invest the Standing Committee with other functions.

Section XI
The decisions of the Standing Committee of the National Revolutionary Assembly must be approved by a simple majority vote of its members.

Section XII
The Standing Committee of the National Revolutionary Assembly exercises its functions until a new Standing Committee is elected by the succeeding National Revolutionary Assembly.

Section XIII
The National Revolutionary Assembly elects a commission for examination of the qualifications of deputies to the National Revolutionary Assembly. The National Revolutionary Assembly will base itself on the reports of this commission in deciding on the recognition of the qualifications of deputies.

Section XIV
The National Revolutionary Assembly establishes a law-drafting committee, a planning board and budget commission, and other committees which the National Revolutionary Assembly deems necessary to assist the National Revolutionary Assembly and its Standing Committee.

Section XV
The National Revolutionary Assembly or its Standing Committee, when the National Revolutionary Assembly is not in session, may, if necessary, appoint commissions of inquiry to investigate specific questions.

All organs of state, people's organizations, and citizens concerned are required to supply all information necessary to these commissions when they conduct investigations.

Section XVI
Deputies to the National Revolutionary Assembly have the right to address questions to the Council of Ministers and to organs under the authority of the Council of Ministers.

The organs to which questions are put are obliged to answer within a period of five days. In the event of investigations having to be carried out, the answer must be given within one month.

Section XVII
No deputy to the National Revolutionary Assembly may be arrested or tried without the consent of the National Revolutionary Assembly or, when the National Revolutionary Assembly is not in session, of its Standing Committee.

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Article VII
The President and Vice President

Section I
The President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo is the representative of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo in internal affairs as well as in foreign relations.

Section II
(1) The President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo is elected by the National Revolutionary Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo. Any citizen of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo who has reached the age of thirty and enjoys full civil and political rights is eligible to stand for election as President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo.

(2) The term of office of the President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo corresponds to that of the National Revolutionary Assembly.

Section III
The President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo, in pursuance of decisions of the National Revolutionary Assembly or its Standing Committee, promulgates laws and decrees; appoints or removes the Prime Minister, the vice-premiers, and the other component members of the Council of Ministers; appoints or removes the vice president and the other component members of the National Defense Council; promulgates general amnesties and grants pardons; confers orders, medals, and titles of honor of the state; proclaims a state of war; orders general or partial mobilization; and proclaims martial law.

Section IV
The President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo receives plenipotentiary representatives of foreign states; and, in pursuance of decisions of the National Revolutionary Assembly or its Standing Committee, ratifies treaties concluded with foreign states, appoints or recalls plenipotentiary representatives of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo to foreign states.

Section V
The President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo is the supreme commander of the Congolese People's Armed Forces and is president of the National Defense Council.

Section VI
The President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo has power, when necessary, to attend and preside over the meetings of the Council of Ministers.

Section VII
(1) The President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo, when necessary, convenes and presides over the Special Political Conference.

(2) The Special Political Conference is composed of the President and Vice President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo, the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National Revolutionary Assembly, the Prime Minister, and other persons concerned.

(3) The Special Political Conference examines major problems of the country. The President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo submits the view of this conference to the National Revolutionary Assembly, the Standing Committee of the National Revolutionary Assembly, the Council of Ministers, or other bodies concerned for their consideration and decision.

Section VIII
(1) The Vice President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo assists the President in his duties. The Vice President may exercise such part of the functions of the President as the President may entrust to him.

(2) The provisions governing the election and term of office of the President apply also to the election and term of office of the Vice President.

Section IX
The President and Vice President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo exercise their functions until the new President and Vice President take office.

Section X
(1) Should the President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo be incapacitated for a prolonged period by reason of ill health, the functions of President shall be exercised by the Vice President.

(2) Should the office of President of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo fall vacant, the Vice President shall fulfill the functions of President until the election of a new President.

[edit]
Article VIII
The Council of Ministers

Section I
The Council of Ministers is the executive organ of the highest organ of state authority; it is the highest administrative organ of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo. The Council of Ministers is responsible to the National Revolutionary Assembly and reports to it or, when the National Revolutionary Assembly is not in session, to the Standing Committee of the National Revolutionary Assembly.

Section II
The Council of Ministers is composed of the Prime Minister; the vice-premiers; the ministers; the heads of state commissions; and the Director General of the National Bank. The organization of the Council of Ministers is determined by law.

Section III
Basing itself on the Constitution, laws, and decrees, the Council of Ministers formulates administrative measures, issues decisions and orders, and verifies their execution.

Section IV
The Council of Ministers exercises the following functions:

(1) To submit draft laws, draft decrees, and other drafts to the National Revolutionary Assembly and the Standing Committee of the National Revolutionary Assembly.

(2) To centralize the leadership of the ministries and organs of state under the authority of the Council of Ministers.

(3) To centralize the leadership of the administrative committees at all levels.

(4) To revise or annul inappropriate decisions of the ministries, and organs of state under the authority of the Council of Ministers; to revise or annul inappropriate decisions of administrative organs at all levels.

(5) To suspend the execution of inappropriate decisions of the people's councils of regions, provinces, autonomous territories, and districts under the central authority and recommend to the Standing Committee of the National Revolutionary Assembly revision or annulment of these decisions.

(6) To put into effect the national economic plans and the provisions of the state budget.

(7) To control home and foreign trade.

(8) To direct cultural and social work.

(9) To safeguard the interests of the state, to maintain public order, and to protect the rights and interests of citizens.

(10) To lead the building of the armed forces of the state.

(11) To direct the conduct of external relations.

(12) To ratify territorial boundaries of administrative areas below the provincial level.

(13) To carry out the order of mobilization, martial law, and all other necessary measures to defend the country.

(14) To appoint and remove personnel of organs of state, according to provisions of law.

Besides these functions, the National Revolutionary Assembly or its Standing Committee may invest the Council of Ministers with other functions.

Section V
The Prime Minister presides over the meetings of the Council of Ministers and leads its work. The vice-premiers assist the Prime Minister in his work and may replace him in the event of his absence.

Section VI
(1) The ministers and heads of organs of state under the authority of the Council of Ministers lead the work of their respective departments under the unified leadership of the Council of Ministers.

(2) Within the jurisdiction of their respective departments, in accordance with and in pursuance of laws and decrees, decisions, orders, and directives of the Council of Ministers, they may issue orders and directives and supervise their execution.

Section VII
In the discharge of their functions, members of the Council of Ministers bear responsibility before the law for such acts as contravene the Constitution and the law and do harm to the state or the people.

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Article VIII
The People's Supreme Court and the People's Supreme Procuracy

Section I
(1) The People's Supreme Court of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo, the local people's courts, and the military courts are judicial organs of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo.

(2) Special courts may be set up by the National Revolutionary Assembly in certain cases.

Section II
(1) The system of elected judges according to the procedure prescribed by law applies to the people's courts.

(2) The term of office of the president of the People's Supreme Court is five years.

(3) The organization of the people's courts is determined by law.

Section III
Judicial proceedings in the people's courts must be carried out with the participation of people's assessors according to law. In administering justice, people's assessors enjoy the same powers as judges.

Section IV
In administering justice, the people's courts are independent and subject only to law.

Section V
Cases in the people's courts are heard in public unless otherwise provided for by law.

Section VI
The people's courts ensure that all citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo may use their own spoken and written languages in court proceedings.

Section VII
(1) The People's Supreme Court is the highest judicial organ of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo.

(2) The People's Supreme Court supervises the judicial work of local people's courts, military courts, and special courts.

Section VIII
The People's Supreme Court is responsible to the National Revolutionary Assembly and reports to it or, when the National Revolutionary Assembly is not in session, to its Standing Committee. The local people's courts are responsible to the local people's councils at corresponding levels and report to them.

Section IX
(1) The People's Supreme Procuracy of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo controls the observance of the law by all departments of the Council of Ministers, all local organs of state, persons working in organs of state, and all citizens.

(2) Local organs of the People's Supreme Procuracy and military organs of control exercise control authority within the limits prescribed by law.

Section X
(1) The term of office of the Procurator General of the People's Supreme Procuracy is five years.

(2) The organization of the people's organs of procuracy is determined by law.

Section XI
The people's organs of procuracy at all levels work only under the leadership of their higher control organs and the unified leadership of the People's Supreme Procuracy.

Section XII
The People's Supreme Procuracy is responsible to the National Revolutionary Assembly and reports to it or, when the National Revolutionary Assembly is not in session, to its Standing Committee.

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Article IX
Local Government

Section I
The administrative division of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo is as follows:

(1) The country is divided into provinces and municipalities directly under the central government.

(2) Provinces are divided into districts, cities, and towns.

(3) Districts are divided into villages and communes.

The state may establish new administrative regions when necessary.

Section II
People's councils and administrative committees are established in all the above-mentioned administrative units. Cities may be divided into wards with a ward people's council and administrative committee, according to decision of the Council of Ministers.

Section III
Local people's councils at all levels are the organs of state authority in their respective areas. People's councils at all levels are elected by the local people and are responsible to them.

Section IV
(1) The term of office of the people's councils of provinces and municipalities directly under the central authority is five years.

(2) The term of office of the people's councils of districts, cities, towns, villages, and communes is three years.

(3) The electoral procedure and the number of representatives to people's councils at all levels are determined by law.

Section V
The people's councils ensure observance and execution of state laws in their respective areas; draw up plans for local economic and cultural development and public works; examine and approve local budgets and financial reports; maintain public order and security in their areas; protect public property, protect the rights of citizens, and safeguard the equal rights of all tribes.

Section VI
The local people's councils issue decisions for execution in their areas on the basis of state law and of decisions taken at higher levels.

Section VII
(1) The people's councils elect administrative committees and have power to recall members of administrative committees.

(2) The people's councils elect and have power to recall the presidents of the people's courts at corresponding levels.

Section VIII
The people's councils have power to revise or annul inappropriate decisions issued by administrative committees at corresponding levels, as well as inappropriate decisions issued by people's councils and administrative committees at the next lower level.

Section IX
The people's councils at all levels have power to dissolve people's councils at the next lower level when the latter do serious harm to the people's interests. Such a decision must be ratified by the people's council at the next higher level prior to its application. A decision of dissolution issued by the people's councils of provinces, autonomous zones, and municipalities directly under the central authority is subject to endorsement by the Standing Committee of the National Revolutionary Assembly prior to its application.

Section X
The administrative committees at all levels are the executive organs of the local people's councils at corresponding levels and are the administrative organs of state in their respective areas.

Section XI
(1) The administrative committee is composed of president, one or several vice presidents, a secretary, and a number of committee members.

(2) The term of office of an administrative committee is the same as that of the people's council which elected it.

(3) On the expiration of the term of office of the people's council or in the event of its dissolution, the administrative committee continues to exercise the above functions until a new people's council has elected a new administrative committee.

(4) The organization of administrative committees at all levels is determined by law.

Section XII
(1) The administrative committees at all levels direct the administrative work in their respective areas, carry out the decisions issued by people's councils at corresponding levels and the decisions and orders issued by organs of state at higher levels.

(2) The administrative committees at all levels, within the limits of the authority prescribed by law, issue decisions and orders and verify their execution.

Section XIII
(1) The administrative committees at all levels direct the work of their subordinate departments and the work of administrative committees at lower levels.

(2) The administrative committees at all levels have power to revise or annul inappropriate decisions of their subordinate departments and of administrative committees at lower levels.

(3) The administrative committees at all levels have power to suspend the carrying out of inappropriate decisions of people's councils at the next lower level, and to propose to people's councils at corresponding levels the revision or annulment of such decisions.

Section XIV
(1) The administrative committees at all levels are responsible to the people's councils at corresponding levels and to the administrative organs of state at the next higher level, and shall report to these bodies.

(2) The administrative committees at all levels are placed under the leadership of the administrative committees at the next higher level, and under the unified leadership of the Council of Ministers.

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Article X
National Languages and Capital

Section I
(1) This Constitution shall be officially promulgated in French, Lingala, Kikongo, Kiswahili, and Tshiluba. In case of conflict, the French text shall prevail.

(2) Until otherwise provided by law, French shall be the official language.

Section II
The capital of the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo is Nkuna.

[edit]
Article XI
Amendment of the Constitution

Only the National Revolutionary Assembly has power to revise the Constitution. Amendments to the Constitution require a two-thirds majority vote of all deputies to the National Revolutionary Assembly.

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