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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  September 14, 2016 5:00pm-7:01pm EDT

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a deal and over 20%. and i appreciate the time had you to wait, great testimony, great input. it's going to end up benefitting all of the people we're here to serve and that's the veterans of the united states of america. so, with that said, this hearing will stand adjourned.
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more live coverage tomorrow as the heads of the army, navy, marine corps and air force testify about the armed services long-term budget needs. the hearing takes place as negotiations continue ton capitol hill over military readiness under budget caps. live coverage of the senate armed services committee hearing at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span 3. >> this weekend on america history tv on c-span3. sad evening at 6:00 p.m. eastern -- >> in any war at anytime, weapons dictate tactics. you probably heard that the civil war was fought with modern weapons and antiquated tactics. that's not quite true. the civil war was basically an
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evolutionary war as both weapons and the men who employed those weapons learned different methods to fight with. >> author david powell talks about the civil war. and athen the book "potsdam" about the 1945 meeting of harry truman, winston churchill and joseph stalin to negotiate the end of world war ii and the reconstruction of europe. >> the states of europe didn't interact enough. they weren't cooperative enough. society power of europe became a zero sum game. the way to solve the power of this, was to merge together and create a european union so that france, germany, russia poland don't see events on the continent as a zero sum game. >> on sunday night at 8:00 eastern. >> the idea that american presidents have already gotten the very best health care available in whatever year that they lived.
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well i want to tell you that says that charmi ining net, and problems began almost immediately with george washington. >> richard levinson on parkway central he'll talk about health care can contribute to a president's death or save them from dying without public knowledge. for the schedule, go to cspan.org. it's that time of year to announce our 2017 student cam video documentary competition. help us spread the word to middle school and high school students and their teachers. this year's theme, your message to washington, d.c. tell us, what is the most urgent issue for the new president in congress to address in 2017. our competition is open to all middle school or high school students grades 6 through 12. with $100,000 awarded in cash prizes. students can work alone or in a group of up to three to proud a
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five to seven-minute documentary on the issue selected. the $100,000 in cash prizes will be awarded and shared between 150 students and 53 teachers. and the grand prize, $5,000 will go to the student or team with the best overall entry. this year's deadline is january 20th, 2017. so, mark your calendars and help us spread the word to student filmmakers for more information go to our website studentcam.org. the democratic republic of congo's ambassador to the u.s. took part in a discussion on the current political crisis in this country as well as the u.s. role in the region. this 90-minute event was hosted by the brookings institution. >> good morning, everyone. welcome to brookings. i'm michael o'hanlon, great to see you out here on the day that
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it's evac tiff of a warm day. we're going to talk about congo, the wonder country that tony gambino had the privilege of serving in as peace volunteers. we'll have tom perriello and the ambassador. i'll speak about each one of these fine gentlemen in just a moment, a little bit in more detail as we prep to get into our discussion. let me just explain things for you today. this is sort of a usual brookings event where the policy questions before us will be in fact the future of dlc. and especially, the future of its politics in a year when, just like our own political system, the dlc is supposed to have an election. and yet that is in considerable doubt at the moment as most of you probably know by virtue of being here interested in the first place but for those who
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wander by and those channel surfing and getting tired of watching beach volleyball or something at the olympics. let me just say, right now, we have at least the formal expectation of a november 2016 election in drc, just as we do in the united states. but that is in considerable doubt. incumbent president who has been in of since 2001 and therefore has served now virtually two entire elective terms plus one previous term, that he essentially inherited when his father was assassinated and he took office back at the very beginning of the century. he's still a young man. he's only 45 years old. and there's speculation as to where president ka dill la is intentionally delaying the elections on how to stay in office longer. perhaps to rethink the constitution of drc that allows for two terms.
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much like the countries congo only allows for two terms because he started essentially inheriting his father's chairman office he's done the equivalent of three terms already. but there's the question whether he, like other presidents in the central african region that we've discussed at times here at brookings with tonybino and the honorable perriello before, we know that president putin in office and the president of uganda just celebrated if that's the right word celebrated his 30th year in office. we know the president who helped end the rwanda genocide in 1994 is still in office and has the aspirations of staying longer than vladimir putin may be able to keep himself in the kremlin. for policy, we don't know what
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to do about it. some of these leaders and we'll get to the president in category a or b or c in a moment, some of these leaders have done great things for their country. one acknowledge that he has presided over a theory which drc has become more peaceful. the question is he really the right guy to keep going forward. does he really have aspirations to keep going forward. exactly where are we in the politics of this country. that's a brief premier. i'm going to get out of the way here. congolese ambassador balumuene, who has been an ambassador to india, southeast asia, south africa, various jobs at the u.n., longstanding under several congolese presidents, should say
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three congre congolese presidents. he will speak in french. had he's asked to make sure he get every single comment and participle correct. we're talking about that. to his right is an interpreter who will help couch his remarks in english after he's expressed them formally in french. we'll do the opening comments in the vicinity of 10 or 12 minutes perhaps. whatever people choose. then we'll have a little discussion among ours before we go to you. let me say a couple wods about these individuals.
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my good friend anthony gambino has been serving people of drc as well as people of the united states. he's had a number of jobs in the u.s. government that have concerned the former zaire former republic of congo, he never lost the bug for congo, he worked with a.i.d. for many years he was the company director for a.i.d. in drc, around the turn of the century, about when cadilla was perched to come into office and in the 2006 which is now the presidential election first removed. and the first one that the president won through the battle, first time he became to office officially.
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the honorable it tom perriello has been serving as the envoy to the great region of africa. he spoke about rwanda, at particularly delicate moments. also countries as i mentioned earliy with rwanda and the presidents who have sought to stay on longer than he might have preferred with a two-term construct in thinking about democracy. i'm not trying to say what tom's going to say. his mandate is to think about these countries and the entirety of their problems, including their balance. the fact that all of these countries have been in a considerable degree of instability. and obviously the united states wants to do what it can to help stabilize this crucial time in africa. drc, is, as most of you know, one or three of pivotal states
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of africa by any measure. it's population is 80 or 90 million plus or minus. it's land mass is second only after algeria now that sedan has split in two. and drc is far and away in terms of land with a lot of resources on it null avenue africa. and of course, we all used to hear 15, 20 years ago how this was a place where there has been a great war, interstate war in africa because drc borders nine different countries right there in the middle of the continent. as drc goes, so goes much of africa, central africa. and am bass tour balumuene has served for roughly a quarter century. he's a native of the cassai
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region of drc. he went to college and served overseas in much of south and southeast asia and new york city and south africa. and he's been the president's representative or ambassador to the united states since last summer. i think given the distinctive resumes here, just as a way to stop myself and make a clean break, let me please ask you to join me in welcoming them all to brookings. [ applause ] >> so, now, we'll go down the line starting with anthony gambino. >> thank you, mike. it's a pleasure to be here again and to share a podium with special enjoy perriello and ambassador balance humanny. all of us are tremendously grateful for what he's doing. we had a similar meeting in brooklyn last november.
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and i stated then that congo was already in electoral crisis last november. sadly, the situation has only deteriorated. congo today is roughly one month away from a full-fledged constitutional crisis. this morning, i'll try to get through things. first, i'll briefly talk about the critical constitutional issues. second, i will discuss the views of civil society of congolese in america and third i'll have some thoughts on how to move forward. of course, i'll represent no one but myself in these remarks. but first, the facts of this crisis, perhaps the most important thing i ask you to remember is this crisis is entirely manufactured. congo should not be at this point, the congo lease
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constitution is clear. no one can serve more than two five-year term, the president is therefore at the end of his final term as michael indicated in his opening comments. no one, i mean no one including those who support the president disputes this. presidential elections must be held every five years. congo has had two elections as mike said 2006, 2011 in fulfillment of the constitutional requirement. on february 12th, 2015, last year, the congolese independent commission, that i'll refer to by its initials cenile produced a calendar. it scheduled presidential elections for november 27th, 2016, with the inauguration of a new president on december 10th, 2016. yet, today, we find ourselves in
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a situation where congo is not ready for the constitutionally required presidential election of 2016. why is that? what's the problem? well, last november, this is what i said. i studied that the president's supporters have been doing everything they can to obstruct, delay and undercut the holding of national elections on time. just by their actions, this group has only one aim, keeping the president in power as long as apossible. regrettably, nothing has happened to suggest even the slightest alteration in that statement from last november. president himself has recently enforced this. as stated in uganda just the other week that congo will have an election, he didn't specify whether local or national after the preparation of a new voter rule. what's wrong with that?
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here's what's wrong. the preparation of the new voter role is scheduled for completion about a year from now. as i already stated the president's term expires on december 19th, in a few months. also earlier this year, the president obtained a ruling from the constitutional court stating that he can have an remain in office until his successor is nominated. however long that takes. i won't discuss the debate around that decision other than to say that congo and society rejects this interpretation. recent actions by the congolese government to remove the human rights watch based in congo who is renown for the quality and objectivity of her work, as well as dubious legal actions taken against the leading opposition presidential candidate governor maurice katumbi.
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we enforce that it isn't takes the steps required with confidence that would respect the constitution. i want to focus on an article of the constitution that's so clear and so important that it's not subject to any ambiguity or debate about its meaning. again, no one disputes this. it's article 73 of the congolese constitution. which states in its entirety, i'm reading the entire article right now, quote, the electoral period for the election of the president of the republic is convened by the congolese independent electoral commission 90 days before the expiration of the mandate of the incumbent president. period. done. that's the entire article. english translation say bit awkward. we do it differently under our system, but for those of us who are americans here, let me briefly note that the congolese
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is left out of many other countries, in that there's a defined electoral period leading up to an actual vote. in this case, that for presidential election. that period run and how long is constitutionally mandated and described by article 73. therefore, the ceni must convene or declare the beginning of the official electoral period leading up to the presidency election no later than september 20th, about is a month from now. and surprisingly, that date was on the calendar that that electoral commission published last february. the present head of the electoral commission had an historic opportunity to do this and fulfill his solemn constitutional obligation. sadly, he hasn't proven to be up to the straightforward task of fulfilling this constitutional role. instead, he came to washington this spring and complained -- i was in the meetings, and he
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complained that he didn't know what to do. on the one hand, he said if i go in a certain direction, the government will criticize me. but if i go in the other direction, the opposition will criticize me. what should i do, he asked. well what he should have done is read the congolese constitution which states unambiguously what he must do in about one month. however, mr. nonga and other members of that commission have stated repeatedly that they will not be ready to do so. therefore, i'm sorry to have to say right now, that whatever statements anyone makes anywhere around september 20th, the congo is a full-fledgeded constitutional crisis as the fall begins. that's as sure as we're sitting here right now. what should the international community do? the u.s. has already begun a process of sanctions. the first round taken against just one man has already proven very effective.
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it's time now, this month for the next round of sanctions. the type of persons to be sanctioned should be the most crucial assistance to the president's unconstitutional efforts to remain in power. for example, the head of the intelligence service callamutamb. and the red of the regime. it's also time for the european union to move to pose sanctions against these unconstitutional actions by congo's leaders to violate human rights close to political space and undermine constitutional democracy. let me also talk about the african union. they've designated a facilitator, edam kogo. he's kogo has been at work for
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months. the essential problem is agreeing what is to be discussed and whether it will be discussed in good faith. the opposition doubts the sincerity is and the congolese government and mr. kojo. and the bishops as long as kojo remains the facilitator. many people have called on the congo government to build confidence in this process by opening political space through the release of political prisoners and encourage the participation of major action such as governor ka tomby. frankly, it's difficult to imagine a dialogue. i'll go to this at the end of my remarks. let me now move to the congolese and civil society. first i want to emphasize an
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important point crucial that usually is overlook. the congolese opposition political and society is entirely peaceful. all of its leaders have embraced the principle of nonviolence. how important is that? in a country that's been torn apart by multiple wars and rebellions over the last few decades. and it's still not completely at peace in parts of eastern congress gcongo. we were just read be are horrific killings around the eastern city of dani just the other day. the opposition's courageous stance of nonviolence must be celebrated, cherished, nourished, encouraged and protected. unfortunately, the congolese police and military have garnered a global reputation for brutality, lawlessness. remarkably they respected the
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radical assembly last month. and when he and other opposition leaders held an enormous peaceful rally, a few days after his return. there was an accident. u.s. sanctions against police chief helped provide a very important incentive for greatly improved behavior when the police saw themselves to be in the international spotlight. and make no mistake, the police and military remain armed and dangerous. the opposition has stated its intention to continue such protests if congo moves into a period of unconstitutionality this fall. the right to peaceful assembly must be respected. and in that regard, i also want to say thank goodness for the united nations peacekeeping force. it still has about 20,000 men and women in conchasa around the
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country to make it appear they were watching as the major rallies took place. they have two strategic priorities mandated by the united nations security council. the first is the protection of civilians. the second is to support, i'm quoting, the creation of an environment conducive to peaceful, credible and timely elections. manniws co must prep to act during this dangerous period to protect civilians and provide a solution to congo's current growing crisis. as we said, the president's final term ends on december 19th. in the absence of any constitution solution, the opposition has called for public protest. with no solution december 19th, the opposition has called for the president's departure from
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office. and the president has made known his intention to remain. first, there's neither the time nor the need for a wide-ranging discussion of multiple issues in any dialogue that might begin. the only issue for discussion among congo's political leaders are these two. first, how to arrange for and i'm quoting the relevant u.n. security council resolution a free, credible, transparent, peaceful and timely electoral process which respects the congolese constitution. second, if for some reason that cannot be completed by december 20th, then what happens. i will not get into the details of what can happen under the second scenario, but i make two points. first, the congo constitution has to be respected. therefore, anything before
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december 19th has to follow the constitution. second if one does that, that requires the holding of presidential elections if not in 2016, as early as possible in 2017. no delay pond that is possible, period. that should be a given role in that subject on any debate or discussion. congo is entering a period of maximum danger. and it's crucial, therefore, that a way forward be found that respects the constitution and avoids bloodshed. i really believe what with good faith and continued efforts of the congolese elite and people of the congo and governments like my own loved by team like special enjoy perriello, from the u.n., the african union, the european union and other concerned citizens and around the world find a peaceful way forward, a path to peace. difficult still remains possible. thank you. >> thank you, tony. very powerful. [ applause ]
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>> congressman perriello. >> thank you for having me. and thank you for doing this event. it's particularly important time to be trying to get attention around the world to the situation in drc, where the clock is ticking because i want to make sure there's time for the audience to say, i'll probably just say a few remarks. we used to call it -- we would actually call august africa month because it was one of the few times you could actually break through with news about africa and international. unfortunately, we know we can't compete with beach volleyball. have neither the time nor the height to do so. but this is a crucial time. let me just make a general time about the constitutional position that obama's put out there. a specific point about why the
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surprise in drc and something about where we stand. >> president obama did not pull this issue term limits out of thin air. he's a professional law professor and believes in the fundamentals of break point. in countries when incumbents try to change rules to stay in power, those countries are five times more likely to face violence and instability. those countries that have transitions are far more likely to see economic growth both foreign investment and economic growth. the data is very clear on this. even in situations where there is broad consent about extending an incumbent's range in power like a nelson mandela kind of situation. even in those suggestion, the data suggests that it's crucial for both stability and ainvestment. but it's even more true in situation where is there is not broad consent. i think it's fair to say even under the most generous reading of the current political
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situation in drc, as we'll discuss, that there's not some ground swell of grassroots support for change in constitution or replacement. unfortunately, we know this not just from the data, but we know this from the president who was a popular president at the time in his decision to change his decision in bell four, even in that situation, you saw the desperation of instability and ten years of progress in post congo reconciliation. across the communities and private sector and military to get beyond the divisions. past. so this is not random by the president. and he's also the most popular among the african people though not as most popular among the african leaders as you may guess. secondly, we look at the issue about alternates in the context
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of the democratic republic of congo. there's some discussion on what role the u.s. these play. we're not. our policy is entirely determined by the congolese constitution. by the congolese and by the overwhelming support of every poll and research and analysis that the congolese people are very proud of their constitution. and they're excited to have an election. not based on any personal animosity towards the leader. but based on the belief that one of the great products of the president and his family has been to establish a constitutional democracy and this is an opportunity to turn the corner. it's important to note that the president deserves credit for this. it's a country where seemed to be credit to the government there has been in years real space for civil society.
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real space for opposition party, and real space for the media. unfortunately, over the last year, we've seen significant closing of that space, including intimidation and aarrest of youth activists which tends to be obviously a sign of desperation of a weak regime. not signs of a strong regime. i think this is not just unfortunate in terms of raising the risk of instability, but of undermining a really proud legacy that the drc generally and pretty ka beia specifically helped to establish. we've seen over and aover again that the congolese people are ready for a constitutional democracy and embrace it. there are not -- sometimes, we hear arguments in the government that make we believe we have more confidence in the congolese people than they do. we saw hundreds of thousands of people come out on the streets multiple times just this month. as the police do not instigate that the congolese people are capable of rallying peacefully,
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as has happened before. whether it's the funeral of a prominent person or an opposition leader. when we think of this assumption that if there are people exercising their constitutional rights it leads to instability, that's a passing of the buck. the question is what is the spark that leads to instability? in the absence of the crackdown, the congolese people are incredibly mature in their approach to the democratic process which is a good thing. unfortunately, though, while there's much to be said about the positive success story of drc, we do see tensions rising. we have seen prominent congolese leaders intimidated or run out of the country or in the case of youth activists still sitting in prison. we have seen rising concerns in the country about the neighbors about finance it's in government sand the concern that even under best of political establishment and certainty, some of these are
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issues that have real human impacts in a country where many, many people still remain extremely poor and on the economy. and also look at the question of regional instability. so that leads me to where we stand now. and while i share most if not all of what tony outlined as the downside of this which are very real if we do not sign a negotiated solution in this case. i think these very disturbing scenarios which could involve violence are real. i think it's also important to keep an eye on the positive story here. it is not past the point where drc could have its first peaceful democratic transition in the history of the country. this is an incredible turning point for the drc. and again, i think it's one where the president and his family would deserve credit. and they would deserve props and most of all, the congolese people would deserve the opportunity to see what country after country has seen.
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which is after a brutal civil war or regional war, seeing that first period of alternate is the turning point where you see real gains on investment. real gains in stability in all of these areas. so, we do need to be extremely concerned about the downside risks. but i also want us to keep in mind drc as a success story in talking about congolese exceptionalism. we look at other regions that have done this and why is the president different. what if drc continue to be the model. a model of a more democratic society. a model of a strong constitutional democracy. we all know that human capital is there for that opportunity. so i think we want to be supportive of both the government and the congolese people in what could be an extremely exciting time. that having been said, i think the window for that happy story,
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the window for that positive stuff is narrowing and narrowing quickly. some deadlines have come and gone. but the current one appears to be now until september 19th. with at least some significant leaders in the opposition feels that is the beginning of the constitutional crisis. that means we are looking at now, you know, a six-week period. four to six-week period, depending on when you see this coming together of where tensions will calcify. sides will calcify and in terms of confidence in both areas. there's an opportunity for everybody in this scenario to walk away a winner depending on how you define winning. to me, if the president gets to be one of the great here rose of his country into the period of peace and democracy and statesmanship and still a major power broker in the country and across the continent and could have a comeback in years to come. that, to me is say great outcome
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for him and certainly for the country. the problem is the closer this gets to being a conflict, the closer this gets to be decided in the streets, those opportunities disappear. it gets worse as a crisis. but there's a lot of needing to help people see those opportunities. and this is where tony and i sometimes days agree a little bit, these steps are going to be determined not by the u.s. and not by the international community, but by the congolese people. the international community can affect them by the margin. we can try to incentivize. and try to encourage what a hero's departure looks like and all of those things but ultimately this is a chapter written bit congolese people and we hope it's one that's written together. we all talk about the kojo dialogue and we fully support it and think it's incredible important that they participate in that. i understand why all of these
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details matter. but ultimately, what matters the most at this point is people making the acts of statesmanship and compromise that bring everyone to the table and allow for a solution. and i do believe that the power to do so right now rests overwhelmingly with the government. yes, the opposition is a key player in this. but the conditions for dialogue are primarily being determined by the confidence-building measures that the government chooses to take or not take. a few weeks ago, they had a great opportunity with a discussion about a significant release of political prisoners and pardoning of political opponents. this is probably the single best thing that could happen to give the dialogue a real chance. it is very difficult for people to feel like they're being invited to the dialogue at the same time they're being intimidate i think at this point when we think about this, yes, it's true that many opposition leaders are holding out on dialogue. but people are also in an
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environment where they're looking to see are we going into a genuine discussion about how to move a country forward in the constitution and security council. or are we talking into a trap? and there's a trust gap right now. and both sides have the reason to see the other side as the bad guy. there's only so much we can do from the outside. i think there are actions that leaders can take right now to create genuine space between now and september 19th. after that time, i think the options and the abilities to control things decline significantly. so, i still think this is an opportunity for this to be one of the great chapters for drc. and for drc to be the model even for the whole region. but get scenarios get less likely as we get closer to these deadlines. and the bad scenarios get more like likely. we'll be seeing this next month.
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>> thank you special enjoy perriello. i have two quick questions then we'll go to the ambassador. i thought i heard you to say for the president to step down they could have a combat is it the constitution about two terms lifetime or consecutive, where's the limit? >> consecutive. so, he could clearly step down and run again. >> yes. >> the other question, the state of sanctions today, maybe a quick word from each of you, exactly where does it stand. is the u.s. executive branch essentially invoking authorities that have been there a while or is this a reaction? if i could start with you. >> we've known of executive authority for a few years now that includes both threats of violence, instability of human rights but also undermining of democratic constitution and democratic process. and the recent death of the police chief. secondly, capitol hill has been engaged in a debate over
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sanctions, calling in a bipartisan way for stronger consequences in some of these areas related to these issues. i think that's, again, a coequal branch as they continue to be both options there. we all know that ultimately, that the government controls the power of the purse. with the representatives, it start information the house of representatives in the people's house. and hasn't been always right. but, yes, so, the hill ultimately with the budgets but there's existing executive authority on executive order to pursue individual sanctions in congo. >> thank you. my last clarifying point, earlier i said that congo is the third most populous country in africa. technically, it's the fourth if you count egypt but it's the third most in sub-saharan. thank you mr., ambassador.
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>> thank you. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: so, what we'd like to clarify today how the electoral process worked in the drc and i'd like to give some clarification on the situation. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: after the presentation of mr. thomas perriello and mr. anthony gambino, i would like to say a clarification. [ speaking in french ] . >> i would like to give clarification to the five following points.
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[ speaking in french ] >> translator: with the opening of power over the elections in the drc. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: why do we have a delay in the electoral process? [ speaking in french ] >> translator: what is the validity of the inclusive national dialogue? [ speaking in french ] >> translator: the interpretation of article 17, second part of the constitution. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: and after, i'm going to talk about the
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irrational war and the troubles after december 2016. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: the dispositions of article 211 of the constitution, the organization of the elections at the drc are going to expand the competition of the national commission of the independent electorate. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: after the national commission of the independent electorate and has
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some obstacles to face. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: the first one say technical one. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: so, we have two elections, the one in 2006 and the one in 2011. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: in 2006, we had held the elections from external partners. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: actually, the re-elections were foreseen to be held in 2005 but we actually postponed them and they had held in 2006.
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[ speaking in french ] >> translator: technically, the national commission of the independent electorate had foreseen the elections in 2011. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: and actually, everybody was contested -- contested it to have elections in 2011. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: that's why we decided to reorganize the election process and help the credible process. [ speaking in french
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[ >> translator: the second issue, we have 42 million people to register to vote. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: and we have 10 million new young people, young others to register. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: and now the new law is for the congolese people living in those countries have the right to vote. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: so, the question now is why didn't do that already in 2011? [ speaking in french ]
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>> translator: the elections were held at the end of 2011 in december 2011. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: and after into 0 2006 and things were functioning fine. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: and the funds for the future elections were set apart. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: in 2014, in 2014, we were facing a rear rebel war in 20 states. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: before this situation. [ speaking in french ]
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>> translator: because of it, it was a difficult situation to prepare the elections. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: to organize the funds and the money. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: and the budget was affected. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: in the year 2015 and 2016. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: we have a very difficult economy. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: we were completely dependent on everything that we were exporting. we were completely dependent on our exports. [ speaking in french ]
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>> translator: and we saw a decline in prices of raw materials. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: especially a couple. and petrol. [ speaking french ] >> translator: our budget had to go -- it had to be down. it was revised down. sorry. [ speaking french ] >> translator: i would like to explain again that we had time to prepare the elections of 2011 and the same situation is happening in 2016. [ speaking french ]
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>> translator: also, we have to look at the opposition in terms of the calendar that we were proposing and other questions. [ speaking french ] >> translator: everybody now talks about the month of december, the month that the president should leave office. [ speaking french ] >> translator: actually the end of his term will be that period, end of december. [ speaking french ] >> translator: everybody that's
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talking about the end of his term of president kabila is not talking about what should happen next and doesn't give any solution about what should happen afterward. [ speaking french ] >> translator: president kabila is proposing that we should have a dialogue of what should happen next. [ speaking french ] >> translator: so it can prepare the way and to go to the electoral process in a peaceful way. [ speaking french ] >> translator: and after the elected president will take function and start his new term. [ speaking french ]
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>> translator: so the big question is what will happen after the end of december. [ speaking french ] >> translator: there are two options, important options, possible today. [ speaking french ] >> translator: we could have the solution that we would prolong his term. [ speaking french ] >> translator: he is not looking for a new term. it is a prolonging of his existing term after december. [ speaking french ]
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>> translator: this is also confirm the constitution that the president can continue with his existing term until we have elected a new president. [ speaking french ] >> translator: the second solution can be found together with the opposition and also external partners. [ speaking french ] >> translator: to use the street and the process in the street and that would eventually push kabila out. [ speaking french ]
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>> translator: nobody could foresee what a chaos that this would create. [ speaking french ] >> translator: we have to make sure if we look at the republic, the democratic republic of the congo, should stay a stable country, and we should make sure
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that we look for a stability and peaceful process. [ speaking french ] >> translator: so we should avoid any dangerous situations in stable situation. [ speaking french ] >> translator: and make sure that the things don't go out of control in this important central region of africa. [ speaking french ] >> translator: we should avoid and we should not create a
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second libya in africa. i would like to thank you all. [ applause ] >> thank you very much, mr. ambassador. so what i'd like to do is ask you to start getting ready with your questions and we'll have a microphone. once i call on you, please identify yourself and please limit yourself to one question. before we do that, i'm going to ask tony and the special envoy if they want to make any brief response to the ambassador. tony, why don't you go ahead and go first? >> okay. thank you very much. first of all, i want to thank the ambassador. it is important that brookings invited a representative of the government to present the views on how to move forward. and i want to say a few things because i do want to get to the broader questions. first, i don't know anyone, no
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governments, no international organization, no civil society member, be they american or european, who looks for the implosion of the congo or disaster. everyone wants to avoid this and find a way out. and that's why i emphasize the peaceful nature of the opposition. we do not have, thank goodness, a situation where there are armed rebellions. just remember 20 years ago, we had in the congo. we had multiple armed groups fighting over the territory of the congo. we do not have this today. that is a great gift that has come from actions by president kabila and others actually in this period to create the opportunity now. the second point i'd like to make is i try to suggestion the
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constitution has multiple arguments and frankly, one does not have to be a constitutional scholar to be clear. it's subject to multiple interpretations, but he gave the one that the constitutional court provided and that the government holds to it. but then there's the other article that the opposition talks about and that i stated, which is article 73. that's another article of the constitution every bit as valid as article 70. and article 73 creates a clear unamendable obligation to the commission to declare the process of the election of the president open 90 days before the incumbent president's term. that's an article of the constitution that has no other clause that says it can be amended, that, well, you need to
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be ready, or maybe if you don't like it, you can do other -- no. it says this in black and white very clearly what needs to be done. if that's not done, i think from a constitutional point of view one falls sadly into an unconstitutional state regardless of how one interprets article 70. so then of course what we're all trying to discuss is what's the way out. and i think, if i could be so bold, i think actually we all agree that it's to find a way for particularly the political elite of the congo -- i'm certainly not suggesting and i hope i never have that the united states should or could impose a solution on the congo. that's not the role of the american government. and as the special envoy said, that's not what the united states is attempting to do in any way this time around, but it's for the crucial congolese
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actors to come together now and have a serious discussion and compromise to go forward. it is my view that if confidence could be created -- what's lacking right now is confidence. there's a lot of mistrust around, and there have been opportunities where people have been looking for the government to take steps to show that they were ready for these kinds of difficult discussions. we have not seen those serious confidence building measures yet, but i'll state again, as i did in my comments, what i think we all believe. it's not too late. it's very late. if you think of the clock ticking towards midnight, we're well past 11:00 p.m. we're well past 11:30 p.m., we're ten minutes to midnight, but the clock hasn't struck
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midnight yet. >> special envoy. >> first of all, thank you for the comments. there is, as you can see, plenty of room to find a reasonable solution and a consensus path forward. but if a small fire has started in the basement of your house and everyone spends their energy on who started the fire instead of putting the fire out, then that fire is going to grow and it's going to get bigger. both sides are focused right now on who started the fire instead of the solution to put it out. there are statements president kabila could make today that would diffuse the situation. so i think if this goes in a bad direction, which we hope it does not, people will look back at this period and the actions that each side took and some of the missed opportunities by the government to build confidence and assessing that, but the focus shouldn't be on the blame
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about the fire, but how to get the fire and make the house stronger. >> thank you. let's go to you. i'll take two questions at the time. we'll start here in the third row, the gentleman, and then the woman in the second row. we'll take those two together. still not working, i don't think. do you have a different microphone? >> i work with the african immigrants caucus, and i'm taking the opportunity to look instead of the congo and how it moves forward, which is very important, to look at the strategy of u.s. policy in africa. you know, ten days ago, the president was asked about how the u.s. chooses to impose sanctions on some countries for
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their bad behavior and not on others. he said, well, when we have security issues, security cooperation with friends, yeah, we cooperate with them. we don't ostracize them, but we talk to them. i think the problem with that is that then he sets a bad example. to bring it to the congo, my personal view is if i were president kabila, i'm looking at two other presidents and saying they have done worse things. they are still longer. the u.s. is not pushing them out, so why should i listen to you? that's just me, but tell me why i'm wrong. >> and then this one also. >> i'm the president of the women ambassadors foundation. my comment, small comment and
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then a question, congo was the victim of king leopold back in the -- after the berlin conference. king leopold took congo as its personal property and decimated millions of -- king leopold of belgium decimated millions of congo people. a century later, we had a promising leader. he was killed by the west. why should congo today take advice from the west? >> you turned it into a question. that was pretty good. why don't we start with tony and just work down? >> i'll just say something about the second question.
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i certainly in what i was discussing today was focused very much on the views and aspirations of people with whom i'm in contact who are congolese and trying to understand and look to what people in the congo are looking for now. this is a very different situation than the circumstance of the late 19th, the early 20th century when the horrors under leopold were perpetrated as you suggested or the very end of the colonial period in 1960, the beginnings of the post-colonial congo. and i think it's quite important to constantly underscore that some of us here are trying very hard -- actually i'll speak a
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little more broadly for the people i work with in american civil society. we try very hard to stay in close contact with members of congre congolese civil society and try to understand how they see the situation, what they would like to do, and to share and exchange. and i consider it a very healthy and a very useful exchange, and it is not one -- and i'm very happy about this -- where it is united states or europe or anywhere else who is attempting with a fist to make changes as, yes, was the case in the past. rather i and others want to learn from and transmit the views of the extremely courageous, articulate, and committed people in the congo whether it's the youth that the special envoy referred to
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working in organizations, the larger civil society organizations represented, or the provinces throughout the country, active civil society gatherings that are going on now, as well as the extremely vibrant set of senior political actors and political parties that are all pushing for the kinds of things that were in our discussion today. so the situation that prevails in 2016 globally is quite different than the ones you referred to in the past and thank goodness. that's a move in a good direction. >> i mean, this is obviously something that could be its own two-hour discussion. i think the question is what are the right lessons to have learned from in the past, and i think one of the lessons could
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be nonengagement at all or it would be that we should stand with the aspirations of the people and not with corrupt elites. when we look at congo, there's a clear aspiration of the people and the united states policy has been entirely informed by the congre congolese people. i think the issue of nonengagement in the global world is complicated. if you look at where the investments are coming from today or the major corporate or government intervention, it's not from the rest. if you look at the history of how the kabila family came into power -- this question of when you go back and look at what is essentially congolese gets extremely complicated quickly. in the past, when we have stood against the aspirations and wills of the people, we have regretted it looking back. and where we have stood with a people, the people of a country,
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we have been on solid ground. there's no question in this case that the congolese people like their constitution. they want a respectful election. the only thing standing in the way is leaders in the own government. with the question of sanctions, we have tried to get smarter about this as well. there's a lot more controversy whether you sanction an entire government or programs that are seen as supporting the people versus trying to be more surgical about trying to target particular actors who are creating instability or limiting the rights of their own citizens. in terms of the u.s. engagement, certainly there's a lot in our history to answer for and those are legitimate questions to be raised, but i think in this case it couldn't be more clear that we're standing in partnership with the congolese people. when we have intended to do that in the past, it's something we look back on positively. [ speaking french ]
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>> translator: i would like to say that president kabila has organized the first elections in this country. [ speaking french ] >> translator: and he also organized the second elections in 2011. [ speaking french ] >> translator: he could have changed the constitution in those years if he wanted to like a lot of other presidents if africa have done.n africa have done. [ speaking french ] >> translator: there were important people in his government who asked in 2009 to change the institution, but --
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the constitution, but he said no. [ speaking french ] >> translator: rwanda has changed the constitution. [ speaking french ] >> translator: our direct neighbor has done this process and they have changed the constitution. like a lot of times this could have happened, we could have done it as well. but our president has said no. [ speaking french ] >> translator: i want to have a democratic culture in this country. [ speaking french ] >> translator: so what i'm
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asking for to have these elections now -- [ speaking french ] >> translator: we need a time to pass calmly to the next election. he will not claim a second term nor will he stay in office a -- >> third term. >> translator: i'm sorry. third term. >> i'm president of harrington dorsey. i understand how you sanction a country, but what i don't understand is how you sanction an individual. >> there's a good question. then in the third row. gentleman back in the blue
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shirt. >> i have two questions. one is for mr. ambassador and the other one is for the special envoy. >> keep them short please then because the rule is one question. >> mr. ambassador, the question i'm asking pretty much is about the organization of the elections. you have mentioned that one of the reasons was lack of funds because the funds were displaced for the war in the east sometime ago. would the government of mr. kabila accept money to organize this election in france like the united states and other european countries? my question is to clarify a little bit what you meant by negotiated solution to the crisis in the congo. >> this is great. we have one question per panelist. tony, you want to take the first. >> first on the sanctions
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question, i think it's important to note that the u.s. sanctions only apply to things inside the united states. we cannot affect what happens inside drc, so this only affects assets in the the united states or travel in the united states. as a sovereign country we have the right to make decisions about an individual as related to u.s. activities. we don't have that ability to affect that vis-a-vis environments. governments have the right to dos that and travel bans and activities and focus on individuals. the feeling over recent years is when you sanction an entire government, there are some folks that feel like that can end up affecting people who have not necessarily done the bad acts that are creating the negative effects. people are welcome to disagree with it, but that's the legal basis for it. i think on the issue -- i wanted to adjust one other comment
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actually to the earlier thing which i think is important to reiterate which is different from how things have happened in the past, which is the united states does not take a position on any party or candidate in this case. i think in the past we have in some cases tried to hand pick or play the chess game out. i think there are countries for good reason that are skeptical that we really mean that when we say it, but we really do. i couldn't careless whether the majority wins or the opposition wins the election. the u.s. position is that the election should happen and the congolese people should determine their future. it's our genuine belief that's what's important is the process and is the will of the conditgoe people. i think there are very competent leaders on both the majority and the opposition.
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i'm being intentionally vague because we think the answer to whatever the question looks like is whatever works. to get a broad c the big game in town is the dialogue. the best way to proceed is to figure how to make that formulation and figure out whatever tweaks need to be made to bring all the sides to the table there. but we don't go into it a preconceived notion that there's a particular format, et cetera. we know that there are a limited number of issues which basically come down to how soon the elections can be held, a statement of noncandidacy and what the government looks like between december 19th and then and the issue of whether everyone is going to be allowed to participate free of intimidation. we can come up with our list, but it's not a huge number of things. we don't want to get stuck on the words dialogue or
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negotiation. i think our belief is it should be what works and it should be what the key congolese stakeholders accept as legitimate. clearly, we don't have all the key actors to the table in a way that could reach a consensus solution to head off this problem. when we say how can we look at confidence building measures from the government, how can we push the opposition to be more open to this dialogue, i think our ultimate bottom line is what works, what brings people to the table that can find a path on this limited set of issues. >> thank you. mr. ambassador. [ speaking french ] >> translator: i would like to confirm that in 2006 we have received external funds for the elections. [ speaking french ]
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>> translator: in 2011, the congo themselves have financed the elections. [ speaking french ] >> translator: so now we have asked for external help looking at the funds issues that we have. [ speaking french ] >> translator: we already have liberated funds of $330 million to start to register the voters. [ speaking french ] >> translator: and we also wait for the part of our external partners. >> very good. okay. let's take another round. we'll go over to this side. we'll take three this time. the gentleman in the second row
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and then the two sitting next to each other in the fourth row. this may wind up being the final round. so make it the lightning round. one question each, please. >> thanks for the opportunity. i'm native of washington, d.c. question, mr. ambassador, thanks for the clarity. it sounds like mr. kabila was trying to do a transition without holding onto to power. can you name a few names of the opposition who think they're not getting their fair share? can you give us a few names? >> then the two in the fourth
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row. >> i'm from the state department from the bureau of african affairs. i'm interested if you can speak a little bit about how the u.s. government should think about its security sector reform programming going forward in light of the political uncertainties with the environment and specifically with regards to objectives and priorities for security assistance. >> great. >> my question is to the ambassador. there is, of course, the political crisis, but also the economic crisis with commodity prices lowered and increased inflation, which could exacerbate the political crisis. so i'm curious what the government strategy is to try to address this economic crisis. thank you. >> thank you. so why don't we start with the ambassador this time and work towards -- take whichever question you want.
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[ speaking french ] >> translator: what i would like to say about the presidents that would be elected i already have registered seven possible candidates here in the embassy. in congo, we have even like 20 candidates registered. [ speaking french ] >> translator: you have to know that we have more than 400 political parties in congo. [ speaking french ] >> translator: so you will notice that this is a very
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difficult to name some candidates seeing the big number of possible candidates. [ speaking french ] >> translator: i'm going to talk about the economic crisis. [ speaking french ] >> translator: the congo doesn't establish the commodity prices. [ speaking french ] >> translator: like all the other underdeveloped countries. [ speaking french ] >> translator: the prices are fixed regarding the needs. [ speaking french ] >> translator: i'd like to control the crisis. we like to diversify our economy. [ speaking french ] >> translator: to not be too dependent on the materials that we export. [ speaking french ]
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>> translator: that's what the government is trying to do to control the crisis that comes from the outside. >> special envoy. >> first, let me just concur that much of the economic crisis that's coming is not the government's fault. it was a lot of factors like commodity prices. nonetheless, it does introduce another reason to be concerned about stability and about the role the street may play in coming months regardless of what caused that issue. it is certainly something we're tracking very closely both for human implications for those who are living on the margins, but also the broader security and political implications. second on the opposition leaders, as i said before, my job is a lot easier because we're not taking sides. so i don't have to get into all of that politics. as a former politician myself, i will say observing it that i
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actually think it's quite fascinating. i think people will focus on how many candidates there are and people seeming to change sides, but that's not necessarily a sign of unhealthy politics. it can be a sign of healthy politics that people will form coalitions and break coalitions. sure, i'm sure some of it will not be for the most ideologically or financially pure reasons, but nonetheless i think you're seeing a lot of in the last year is genuine coalition politics in trying to distinguish those people who do have a constituency from those people who are an individual running around wanting to be a candidate. as a political observer, i just say it is really fascinating to see how dynamic that environment and that will only, i think, intensify over the next year. and it's not about producing the perfect candidate. it's fair to say many americans are not content with our major party candidates here. i'm not here to comment on that, but that's part of how a political system works is as
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much about the parties and coalitions that come together. on security sector reform, i think this is something the u.s. government wants to continue and is continuing to pursue as a top priority. it's something president kabila has certainly emphasized a great deal. i think there are opportunities to see ongoing process against the fdlr as well where we had seen things stagnate for some period of time. and i hope the remaining period the president sees as a chance to solidify his legacies, and i think he has many to point to. he really pushed to the sun city accords, which is not what people expected of him at first. he pushed the constitution. he allowed elections to happen. security sector reform is something else he's raised as a priority, so i think we want to focus a lot on this political situation because it's the big elephant in the room, but it goes parallel with many of these
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other things. what i will say both about security sector form as i started saying about economic development, the extent to which people feel like they have passed the period where you're in a post-conflict environment, which i think is how many people still see drc, or is this still a stable constitutional democracy? and i think the next year, however it is going to play out, is going to determine the extent on how we get on a path toward greater investment and greater stability. as a country that spends a lot of money, no one would be more excited than us to see menusco fade out in the year ahead because the capacity exists internally to do that because we have addressed negative forces in the east. so i think these things have to run in parallel to each other, but i think political uncertainty is rarely the ally
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of stability and it's rarely the ally of these medium to long-term investments, whether it is investment in a policy like security sector reform or the economy. again, we see this as still something that could be a great chapter of the drc where there's a turning of the page, and i think there's a lots of room for his kplen si and others to get credit for that. >> tony? >> just a little bit about the question regarding security sector reform. security sector reform in the congo has been focused on for a long time with a very mixed record. it's very difficult to do. what i'd say about it now is this is not a time for mixed messages, and it's a time for focusing on priorities. so let's think about the 2006 election. the congolese and international
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community were united in wanting to have good elections in 2006, but there was a sense that the army could potentially play a negative role because that command and control abilities weren't good, the ability to commit violence against civilians was unfortunately very high, and a decision was taken not to ramp up security sector reform, but that the army stay in the barracks during the electoral period and the police begin in the role of working with the united nations group at the time to ensure the peaceful holding of elections and it works. the military stayed in their barracks and the elections of 2006 were remarkably peaceful throughout the congo. we have a similar challenge when elections will take place this time. i am not advocating the same action be taken in 2006.
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not at all. ten years have passed. but we think about what is appropriate to be done when what we want is to see, as the special envoy has said again and again, the alternation of power. therefore via elections. and we want those elections to be free, fair, credible, peaceful, transparent, et cetera. and there's a military with a regard. unfortunately, much of that record is bad. rather than thinking about long-term goals of security sector reform, which of course are ultimately important, the essential now is to say how can a military be part of a solution that has opened political space for political expression, for peaceful demonstration, for the other things that are part of a democracy process whereby people can come together, look at the candidates, make their decision, and ultimately on election day
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go and vote for the candidate of their choice. >> i'm just going to add one very last point of my own in conclusion on this question, which is that even though it may not be the moment for this kind of a bigger, longer term policy concept, i still like to argue that the united states military should consider offering up to a brigade of force. what i mean by that is depending on how you size it, 2,000 to 3,000 personnel, to build on the excellent model that was created in afghanistan. something called the security force assistance brigade. you can provide advice to the president of that country on who you may want to promote and not promote. if we're going to see the drc
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military get to the point where the u.n. can work itself out of a job, i think the united states or some other western country like us may need to get more involved. and the reason i say this is because there's such an allergy in washington to even putting this idea on the table. that as a defense analyst myself, i think we're good at this now and i think we can find the forces after we have drawn down so much in iraq and afghanistan. it won't be easy for the u.s. military, but i actually think it is feasible. however, i would not propose it is something we talk about right now with president kabila. thank you all for coming out. please join me in thanks our panelists. [ applause ]
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the heads of the army, navy, marine corps, and air force testify tomorrow morning about the armed services long-term budget needs. the hearing taking place as negotiations continue on capitol hill over military readiness under budget caps. live coverage of the senate armed services committee hearing at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span 3. adams was not a good president. he was not a successful president. and if his career had ended at the end of his presidency, as his father's career ended at the end of his presidency, i don't think i would have written a book about him. >> sunday night on q&a, a
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columnist talks about his big "john quincy adams, militant spirit." >> the thing that strikes you. he's a politician. he's held elective office. he's done whatever you do to win. he didn't form alliances. he didn't do anything that you would do in order to be able to persuade people who otherwise might not go along with your agenda to do so. and so his four years in the white house were just pain. just pain. everything was hard. he achieved almost nothing. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. with the 2016 election approaching, we covered an event analyzing the k-12 education policies of presidential candidates hillary clinton and donald trump.
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this is an hour. >> good afternoon, everyone. my name is thomas burr. i'd like to welcome our guests today to discuss the positions of the presidential candidates, donald trump and hillary clinton, on k-12 and higher education. i would like to thank the education writers association for partnering with us on this news maker. with schools across the country starting this week and next, we felt it was a perfect time to dive into a good policy discussion about education and the presidential candidates' plans. since our founding in 19 08, the national press club has long been the place where news happens, and we're happy today to continue in that role. i'm going to turn over the mike to carolyn hendrie who will introduce the first panel and moderate the first hour of today's discussion.
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thank you very much. ms. hendrie? >> thank you, tommy. and i know you've been out there covering the election this year and also kind of spoken up as an advocate for members of the press when issues about restrictions have come up. we really need first amendment advocates, so thank you so much for what you do. yeah. so greetings everyone. whether you're joining us here at the press club or whether you're online or watching us on c-span, i'm caroline hendrie. i'm the executive director of ewa. ewa is the national professional organization for members of the media who cover education. i'm absolutely thrilled to be partnering with the national press club for back-to-back news maker events here. we will focus on the role of education in this critically important election year. labor day is just around the corner, and with that, we start
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the final leg of what has seemed like a very long campaign. on november 8th, americans will elect a new president, of course. all the members of the u.s. house of representatives, 34 senators. there are also 12 governors races and there's hundreds and hundreds of other elections for state and local level positions. today, we're going to consider how education is playing out as a campaign issue, particularly in the race to succeed president obama. education, to be honest, has not been a top tier issue in this campaign season, but still there's plenty for us to look at and discuss and debate. during the democratic and republican primaries and at both parties' conventions, intraparty
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disputes erupted over everything from college tuition to charter schools. the education planks of the parties' platforms were hard fought, especially on the democratic side. and since the conventions, there's been a lot of speculation about how closely the candidates will hue to the platforms on hot topics like testing opt outs, teacher evaluations, school choice, and student loans. on the campaign trail, the candidates have stirred things up with sound bytes on education. in the case of donald trump, reporters honestly have little else but those remarks and the party platform to go on. meanwhile hillary clinton has laid out policy ideas on a growing list of education topics from early childhood education to campus sexual assault.
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with 69 days to go, the stakes riding on the outcome are high. after all, the obama administration has had a very large footprint in education. using its fiscal and its regulatory might, the administration has not been at all shy about exerting federal power over schools and how to pay for them. so obama's exit will mark a major milestone in the history of washington's influence over schools, educators, and students around the country. so now it's time to get a little smarter on what is at stake in this election for education. this afternoon we have two panels. the first is on preschool through high school, and the second is looking at higher education. so at this time, i would love to
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introduce our very accomplished speakers. the first is lily eskelsen garcia, and she served as president of the 3 million member national education association for the past two years. a sixth grade teacher from salt lake city, she was utah's teacher of the year in 1989. she's also the first latina to head the organization and the first woman to serve in the role since 1983. then we have shavar jeffries he's served as president for democrats for education reform since september of last year. based in new jersey, he is a partner in a law firm. prior to joining the firm, he was an associate professor of law at the seton hall university law school's center for social justice where he ran a
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litigation clinic. last but definitely not least, andy smarick is a partner at bellwether education partners and is president now of the maryland state board of education. his stints in government service have included deputy assistant secretary at the u.s. department of education under president george w. bush and a stint as deputy education commissioner in new jersey under governor chris christie. so welcome to you all, and i'm eager to get started. first, just a few framing remarks. first, i have to address the elephant that's not in the room, and that is the absence today of a speaker who is promoting donald trump's campaign for president. we've worked aggressively in the
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past months to recruit someone, a policymaker, an education analyst, an advocate. we tried every channel that we could think of, and that included, of course, the trump campaign itself and the republican national committee among many other avenues. alas in the end our efforts were unsuccessful, and i think it's a question of timing as much as anything. congress is in recess, and the trump campaign just recently brought on board an education adviser to help shape the education agenda. but in the meantime, we have great panelists and we'll have a great discussion and we'll watch for what comes forward from the trump campaign. as i mentioned, it's a turning point right now in the federal role in education.
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an era is ending as the every student succeeds act replaces the much debated no child left behind act. so this election notwithstanding the federal role in schools is shifting. we're also seeing serious strains in the education reform movement. tensions are coming to the fore that cut across party lines and that are intwined in sensitive questions of race and class. the debate over charter schools, for example, has laid bare these tensions for democrats, even as broader school choice issues like vouchers divide many democrats from republicans. at the same time, though, there's not a lot of detail from the candidates on their plans for k-12 education. so i want to start out with that kind of to look at what are the
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key fault lines on education between clinton and trump and the fault lines within the democratic and republican party in 2016 and kind of how are those divisions shaping this campaign. so lily, can we start with you? >> oh, sure. then you'll have to tell me when to stop because this is like four hours. just in that all by itself. >> and we don't have four hours. >> no, no, no. >> we've only got 20 minutes. >> so here's the thing. with education, you can find as many democrats who love charter schools and teach for america and test scores as you can republicans. it's unfortunate. i thought for a long time how did that happen that we ended up with 14 years of no child left untested.
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how did we end up with ted kennedy congratulating george bush over what to me has been an incredible disaster? i taught in salt lake city. i taught in homeless shelters. i taught kids who were living in their cars. to judge what i would do as a teacher by how well my kids did on a standardized test would be ludicrous, but i really do believe some very good people -- democrats were always saying equal opportunity, equal access, equal, equal, equal. then you had the republicans going results, results. those are all good things. they want equal, results. equal, results. we'll stop worrying about what we actually invest in schools. we'll just demand equal test score results, and it just took on a life of its own. >> shavar, how does that play with you? do you think the comments about it being a disaster, why are there folks on the democratic side of the aisle that favor
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education reform? what do you think of she just said? >> i think there's so much more in common that democrats have as compared to republicans who want to eliminate a federal role in education policy which mean there wouldn't be a national imperatives around standards and accountability, national imperatives to support options for families, so i think we have so much more in common as democrats and progresses in making sure we have some national floor to undergird there. within the party, i would strongly disagree with the idea that assessments about whether or not our children are career ready are a problem. we've had decades where barely 1 in 10 children were college ready at the time they graduated from high school. we need to know that well before they hit 12th grade so we can provide the interventions that our young people need so they can be college and career ready. if you're not college and career
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ready, you simply have no shot at fulfilling your potential. that data is used from a formative standpoint to provide information to our teachers so they can make interventions in the lives of our young people. you had 43 out of 46 democratic united states senators support accountability. you've seen mayors and elected officials who are democrats and who are civil rights rooted democrats throughout this country support standards, support accountability, support choice. that's because these programs are working for our young people. when done right, they support our educators so they can empower young people. >> right there, we've seen an articulation of the differences within the democratic party over how we kind of frame issues around accountability and testing. that's a good example. andy, looking to -- as a republican, you know, there have been issu-- issues of reform ha
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united democrats and republicans. i would love to hear where you think the fault lines are between the parties are now and also within the republican party. >> well, between the parties, you're right. there was this era of good feelings. there was a consensus time. call it a decade. the nclb era, at least the early stage. but i think a lot of conservatives, especially among the republican party, had misgives about how heavy handed it seemed uncle sam had gotten. it's not that there are republicans who across the board disagree with their being standards. it's should the federal government tell states what those standards ought to look. should the federal government say which tests and how often and how they are embedded in the accountability system. all of this falls into the question of who should have authority.
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who gets the power to make these decisions? for a long time, many of us were motivated by the idea that for way too long, too many kids, especially low-income kids, were underserved. the federal government in the first iasa and then nclb said the federal government can do a lot more here and ought to do more, but i think we saw the downsides of that. teachers and parents and school system leaders not feeling like they were able to do their jobs like they used to, so that's where a lot of conservatives are coming from. the fault lines, certainly there are some. i wish i could tell you the right is completely united on things, but there are questions about vouchers and tax credits. i think education next just released a poll showing for the first time there's more ewe namty among vouchers than republicans. there are a lot of suburban and
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rural republicans in the states that are questioning school choice in ways they hadn't in the past. then there are governors like governor christie who pushed hard on teacher evaluation reform and there are other republican serious misgivings about whether or not the federal government let alone states should be telling administrators how to assess their teachers. all of this, if i can take a step back, we're going to look back on this era and say most of the issues that we understood for a long time, they're either being consensus or that there are clear party or ideological demarcations, that era seems to be over for me. >> you mentioned the new era of esa and the pushback you are just described was incorporated into the deliberations that led to the new law. so as we look at a new administration coming in, will the federal role even matter? will it matter who is president anymore? >> that's a good question. i think we have a dramatic
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difference. i mean, we have on one hand a candidate where i've seen no evidence that he's done anything for any child in his life who wasn't named trump. and then we have secretary clinton who has a 40-year record of fighting for children, who after she graduated from yale law school, one of the most elite institutions in the world, where she could have easily made a least money, she went to arkansas. the children's health insurance program, supporting ncob as a u.s. senator, expanding opportunities for girls and women throughout the country as secretary of state. it's not even close. and let me just say this last thing. the only thing we've seen in terms of any foray by mr. trump into education was trump university, which was an attempt to defraud working families of precious resources to get a credential that wasn't worth the piece of paper it was written on. >> so we heard a lot about
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seati secretary clinton's background in education at the convention, certainly. how much would that play a role in her as president, i'm not sure. but lily, i mean, looking at -- beyond her own background and what she did decades ago now, what is it in her policies that makes you think that she would really make a difference in education? >> other -- let me tell you where she won me. i actually did have a chance to talk to candidates, federal candidates, senators, and she came in too. and i asked them all the same question. what are your plans, what are your policies, what would your priorities be. and she gave me the best answer i have ever heard when i asked someone that question. so if you ever interview with me, this is the question you want to ask. i said, so, you know, what's the plan?
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and she answered me with questions. she answered me by saying, what are teachers saying will move the ball? what are they saying are the objestacles getting in their wa? do you think you can put together some special ed teachers, a group of just plain old special ed teachers that i can pick their brains and say, what is it that will really help you take these kids to another level? >> so she was open to input. >> she was not only open to input. what it told me, because i know she's also saying that to parents, to business leaders, to her colleagues. it's not just the national education association. but she said, i will start by asking the people who will be asked to actually implement something like those things. why wouldn't we start there? and that's what they didn't do in 2002 when they passed no child left behind. they never asked an actual
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educator, how would this work. >> so andy, i'll put this to you. like what would really -- i mean, you talked a lot about being open to input and listening to the people actually doing it. i know mr. trump has talked about that as a strength of his, that he's flexible and that he talks to people and takes advice. so presumably if he were elected, he would turn to republican education experts, perhaps like yourself and others. how do you think it would be different under a trump presidency in education than, say, a hillary clinton presidency? >> i'm going to give you the worst answer, but i think there's something in this, which is i just don't know. partially, largely, because i just don't know what ideological
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priors mr. trump brings to these issues. i have to say the same thing about secretary clinton on some of these matters. i no longer know honestly how she feels about charter schools. for example, if her opening bid is, what do families want, what if she went to newark or she went to washington, dc or detroit and the families said, we want more choices, we're tired of our kids being assigned to schools that don't work. or according to the pdk poll that came out or the education next poll that just came out, somewhere between call it three-quarters and two-thirds of families of voters are opposed to the idea of opt-out. if the voters of america are saying, no, we actually like the idea of all students being tested, would she say, great, i'm also in favor of that? mr. trump, i just don't know if he believes in local control and state control. i don't know if he believes in charters, vouchers, tax credits.
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some of the above. >> it's in the republican platform, of course. >> sure. >> and those issues are both in the republican plat for me. so you have questions about to what extent a trump administration would carry out the positions that are laid out in the republican platform. >> yes. because generally that is the way of presidents, that they don't always -- they don't feel like a great burden of the platform. they're going to decide for themselves. whatever you think of mr. trump, let's just say it's flexible when it comes to some of his prior positions on issues. he is evolving, he is changing. he may well decide that what he thought a month ago or a year ago is different than what he's going to decide were he elected come january 21st. >> so why are you not supporting trump? >> well, there's a whole host of reasons.
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focusing on education, i don't know what he stands for on these issues. there's -- i mean, occasional he'll mention something about school choice, which i think is terrific. but when it comes to other issues like standards and assessments and low income kids and gifted kids, i just don't know. and the story here for me and other conservatives is, certainly not in my professional lifetime have i gotten to august 30th of an election year and had to say in front of a group of people i don't know what the republican nominee believes on these issues. and perhaps in the next week, i'm told there's going to be a plan and we'll know a whole lot more. but currently, if i were under oath i would have to say i'm sorry, i just can't tell you. >> so obviously you're not out there stumping for trump. what is the nea? i think it's the nation's largest union, correct? >> we are, we are the largest union. >> what are you doing to promote the hillary campaign?
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>> everything humanly possible. the national education association is 3 million members. we represent roughly one in every 100 americans, is a member of the national education association. our circle of influence is incredible. and i know exactly where hillary clinton stands on charter schools. she stands on evidence. and one of the things that she said to me quite clearly, i want to do what works. so i loved that someone was sitting in front of me unafraid to say, show me the evidence of what works, tell me why you believe something doesn't work. and when you take a look at community schools, when you take a look at early college high schools, when you take a look at the impact of class size and preschool, all of those things, i don't want a president that's an idealogue and saying, the answer is boom. >> but none of those things are
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charter schools. >> exactly. >> do you know where hillary clinton stands on charter schools? >> what she said, including before ms. garcia's group, is she supports what works including within the public/charter sector. we're happy as well that she focuses on evidence, because there's evidence that young people in charter schools in our urban cities, which oftentimes were places where we had our worst public schools, had 40 days of additional learning in math in those urban charter schools, and 28 additional days of learning in literacy. to the extent she follows the evidence, which she has done throughout her career, she says she supports high performing charter schools, she said that to the nea, she said that in other contexts in which we've been a part. that's been her record for many decades, because she does support what works for children. that's what we do, whatever works for babies, we support.
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>> are you worried that the democratic party is turning away from the education reform agenda? >> i'm not worried about that. there's elements of the party that have been opposed to charter schools and other elements of reform as well for a long period of time. and they didn't go anywhere. we had an historic leader in barack obama who stood up against some of those interests and produced risk change for kids. but simply because we had this hero in the president doesn't mean that these other elements went away. and so those elements remain. and we have to continue to work with those members of the party where we can, to the extent we think they're going to stand in the way of what's right for our children and our country, we'll have to push against that. >> another issue that i would say a year ago we thought was probably going to be a factor in the election, and maybe a little more than it's been, is the issue of common core state standards. andy,

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