Translation:Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1964)

For other versions of this work, see Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo  (1964) , translated from French by Wikisource
The Belgian Congo gained its independence on June 30, 1960. Immediately, attempts at secession (Katanga), military rebellions, and insurrectionary governments followed one another, and the regime established by the fundamental law of May 19, 1960, was unenforceable. A provisional regime based on decree-laws formally attributed all powers to the President of the Republic. While UN peacekeepers tried to restore order, Prime Minister Lumumba and then UN Secretary General Hammarskjoeld were killed. The arrival in central power of Moïse Tshombé, the leader of Katanga, allowed for the drafting of the Luluabourg Constitution, below, which established a federal regime that was supposed to satisfy the regions' aspirations for autonomy. However, rivalry between the president of the republic and the prime minister soon led army chief Mobutu to seize power directly on November 24, 1965, and to found a second republic, which was given a constitution on June 24, 1967.
[[fr:[1]]]
The Constitutional Commission, which met in Luluabourg from January 10 to April 11, 1964, proposed;
The Congolese people, by the constitutional referendum organized from June 25 to July 10, 1964, adopted;
The President of the Republic promulgates the following Constitution:

PreambleEdit

Proclaiming our adherence to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
Anxious to safeguard our own values and to guarantee to the family, the natural basis of any human society, a special protection by the public authorities in order to ensure its cohesion and stability;
Affirming our determination to consolidate our national unity while respecting our regional particularities, with a view to promoting, in the path of justice, our material well-being and our moral and spiritual development;
We, the Congolese People,
Aware of our responsibilities before God, the nation, Africa and the world
Solemnly declare to adopt the present Constitution.

Title One. General ProvisionsEdit

Section I. The territory and sovereignty of the RepublicEdit

Article 1
The Democratic Republic of the Congo constitutes, within its borders as of June 30, 1960, a sovereign, indivisible, democratic and social State.
The emblem of the Republic is the sky-blue flag, decorated with a yellow star in the upper left-hand corner and crossed at an angle by a red band finely framed in yellow.
Its motto is: Justice, Peace, Work.
Its coat of arms consists of a leopard's head framed on the left by a palm branch and an arrow and, on the right, by an ivory point and a spear, all resting on a stone.
Article 2
No one may infringe upon the integrity of the territory of the Republic.
All the authorities of the Republic and the provinces have the duty to safeguard the integrity of the territory of the Republic.
Article 3
All power emanates from the people, who exercise it through their representatives or by referendum.
No section of the people nor any individual may claim to exercise it.
Article 4
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is composed of the city of Leopoldville and the autonomous provinces listed below:
1. The provinces of the Central Cuvette;
2. The provinces of Haut-Congo;
3. Eastern Katanga;
4. From Kibali-Ituri;
5. From Central Kivu;
6. From Central Kongo;
7. From Kwango;
8. From Kwilu;
9. From Lake Leopold II;
10. From the Lomami;
11. From Lualaba;
12. From Luluabourg;
13. From Maniema;
14. From Moyen-Congo;
15. From North Katanga;
16. From North Kivu;
17. From Sankuru;
18. From South Kasai;
19. From Ubangi;
20. From Uele;
21. And Kasai Unity.
The boundaries of the provinces and those of the city of Leopoldville are fixed by a national organic law.
A new province can only be formed by the dismemberment of one or more provinces through the revision of the first paragraph of this article, which is carried out in accordance with the provisions of articles 175 to 177. However, this revision becomes definitive only if it receives the agreement of the populations concerned consulted by means of a referendum.
A new province may be formed by the merger of two or more provinces or parts of provinces only if the provincial assemblies concerned so request. The President of the Republic, having received the request from the said assemblies by their presidents, submits to the approval of the populations concerned, consulted by means of a referendum, a draft amendment drawn up in accordance with the request before him. If the referendum results in the adoption of the draft amendment, the President of the Republic shall promulgate it within the period provided for in Article 94 (paragraph 1).
In each of the cases referred to in the two preceding paragraphs, the boundaries of the new province are determined by an organic national law amending the law referred to in paragraph 2 of this article.
A national organic law determines the rules for the application of this article and specifies the modalities for the setting up of the institutions of the newly created province.
Article 5
The provinces are autonomous within the limits set by this Constitution.
Each province has legal personality. However, only the Republic has international legal personality.
Leopoldville, the capital of the National Republic, is the seat of the national institutions referred to in Article 53, paragraphs 1 and 4.
The city of Leopoldville is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the central government, which determines its status by a national organic law.

Section II. NationalityEdit

Article 6
There shall be only one Congolese nationality.
It shall be attributed, as of June 30, 1960, to any person whose ancestor is or was a member of a tribe or part of a tribe established on the territory of the Congo before October 18, 1908.
However, those persons referred to in paragraph 2 of this article who possess a foreign nationality on the date of entry into force of this Constitution shall only acquire Congolese nationality if they claim it by a declaration made in the form determined by national law and if, as a result of this declaration, they lose their foreign nationality.
They shall make the declaration within twelve months from the date of entry into force of this Constitution if they are at least twenty-one years of age on that date; if they are not twenty-one years of age, they shall make the declaration within twelve months from the day they reach that age.
Article 7
Congolese nationality shall be acquired by descent, naturalization, option or by legal presumption, under the conditions established by a national organic law. The same law shall determine the conditions for loss of Congolese nationality.
Any Congolese who voluntarily acquires the nationality of another State shall lose Congolese nationality.
Any Congolese who, at the age of 21, possesses both Congolese nationality and the nationality of another State, shall lose Congolese nationality unless he or she has declared, in the manner prescribed by national law, that he or she wishes to retain Congolese nationality.

Section III. International treaties and agreementsEdit

Article 8
The President of the Republic shall negotiate and ratify international treaties and agreements

agreements in the name of the Republic.

Peace treaties, trade treaties, treaties and agreements relating to international organizations and to the settlement of international conflicts, those involving public finance, those modifying

treaties and agreements relating to international organizations and to the settlement of international conflicts, those involving public finances, those amending legislative provisions and those relating to the status of persons, may only be ratified by virtue of a national law.

International treaties or agreements involving the transfer, exchange or addition of territory may only be ratified or approved after revision of Articles 1 (paragraph 1) and 4 (paragraph 1) of the present Constitution and the agreement of the populations concerned, consulted by means of a referendum
When an international treaty or agreement affects the interests of a province, the government of the province concerned must be consulted before it is concluded.
Article 9

International treaties or agreements duly ratified have, from the moment of their publication, an authority superior to that of laws, subject, for each treaty or agreement, to its application by the other party.

Article 10

If the Constitutional Court, on being seized by one of the Houses of Parliament, by the President of either House, by a provincial governor or by the President of a provincial assembly, declares that an international commitment contains a clause contrary to this Constitution, authorization to ratify or approve it may only be given after the Constitution has been revised.

Title II. Fundamental rightsEdit

Article 11

In this Title, the word "law" without the word "national" means both national and provincial laws.

Article 12
Respect for the rights enshrined in this Constitution is binding on the legislative, executive and judicial powers of the Republic and the provinces.
When a state of emergency is declared in accordance with the provisions of Article 97, there shall be no derogation from the provisions of this Article and of Articles 13, 14, 15 (paragraphs 2 and 3), 16, 20 (paragraphs 1 to 3), 22 (paragraph 2), 23, 24, 29, 30 (paragraph 2), 31 to 37, 39 to 43.
Article 13

All Congolese are equal before the law and have the right to equal protection of the laws.

Article 14

No Congolese shall, in matters of education and access to public functions in the Republic, be subject to a discriminatory measure, whether it results from a law or an act of the executive branch, because of their religion, tribal affiliation, sex, ancestry, place of birth or residence.

Article 15
Everyone has the right to respect and protection of his life and to the inviolability of his person.
No one may be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
No one may be put to death except in the cases provided for by national law and in the manner prescribed by it.
Article 16
No one may be held in slavery or servitude or in any similar condition.

similar condition.

No one may be required to perform forced or compulsory labor except in the cases provided for by law.
Article 17

Individual freedom is guaranteed. No one may be arrested or detained except by virtue of the law and in the manner prescribed by it.

Article 18
Any person arrested must be informed immediately, or at the latest within 24 hours, of the reasons for his arrest and of any charges brought against him, in the language he understands.
He may be kept in preventive detention only by virtue of an order of the competent judge and in the cases and for the duration expressly provided for by law.
The person has the right to appeal against orders issued in matters of preventive detention.
Article 19

Any person who has been the victim of arrest or detention contrary to the provisions of articles 17 and 18 above shall have the right to fair compensation for the damage caused to him or to fair indemnity.

Article 20
Everyone is entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a competent court.
He has the right to defend himself in person or to be assisted by a defender of his choice.
No one may be diverted against his will from the judge assigned to him by national law.
A national law shall determine the conditions of indigence and the rate of punishment that justifies legal assistance.
Article 21

The hearings of the courts and tribunals are public, unless such publicity is dangerous to public order and morality; in this case, the court orders the hearing to be closed by a written and motivated judgment.

Article 22
No one may be prosecuted except in the cases provided for by the law and in the forms prescribed by it.
No one may be prosecuted for an act or omission that does not constitute an offense both at the time it was committed and at the time of prosecution.
Article 23
Any person charged with an offense shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a final judgment.
Every judgment shall be pronounced in open court. It shall be written and reasoned.
No penalty shall be imposed or enforced except by law.
No person shall be convicted of any act or omission that does not constitute an offence both at the time it was committed and at the time of conviction.
No greater penalty may be imposed than that applicable at the time the offense was committed.
If the law in force punishes an offence with a lesser penalty than that provided for by the law in force at the time the offence was committed, the judge shall apply the lighter penalty.
A national law shall determine the grounds for justification, excuse and non-accountability.
The right to appeal against a judgment is guaranteed to all in accordance with the law.
Article 24
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
In the Republic, there is no State religion.
Any person who has reached the age of majority has the right to change his religion or belief.
Every person has the right to manifest his religion or beliefs, alone or in community, in public or in private, through worship, teaching, practices, the performance of rites and the state of religious life, subject to the respect of public order and good morals.
Article 25
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression.
This right implies the freedom to express one's opinions and feelings, in particular through speech, writing and images, subject to the respect of public order and morality.
Article 26
Freedom of the press shall be guaranteed to all Congolese.
No authorization to appear is required and censorship cannot be established.
The formalities for declaring publication shall be provided for by law.
The law may only subject the exercise of freedom of the press to restrictions in order to safeguard public order, public safety and morality, as well as to ensure the

public order, public safety and morality as well as the respect of the rights of others.

When the author is known and resides in the Republic, the publisher, printer or director may not be prosecuted.
Article 27
The right of radio and television broadcasting shall be exercised in accordance with national law.
Radio and television broadcasting organized by the public authorities are public services whose status, established by a national law, guarantees impartiality and respect for all convictions in their broadcasts.
Article 28
All Congolese shall have the right to assemble peacefully and without arms, and to form or join trade unions or other associations for the promotion of their welfare and the defense of their political, social, economic, religious and other interests.
The right to strike is guaranteed. The law shall regulate the procedure for such strikes and shall establish the conditions for ensuring the functioning of vital public services or services of public interest which cannot be interrupted, even in the event of a strike or lockout.
Article 29
Members of the armed forces, the gendarmerie and the police may not form or join trade unions or associations of a political nature. :They may not participate in any strike.
Article 30
All Congolese have the right to create a political party or to join one.
No one may impose a single party on all or part of the territory of the Republic.
Political parties or groups shall contribute to the expression of the vote. They are formed and carry out their activities freely. :They must respect the principles of national sovereignty, democracy and the laws of the Republic.
Article 31
Every person has the right to marry a person of his choice and to found a family.
The family shall be organized in such a way as to ensure its unity and stability.
It shall be placed under the special protection of the public authorities. The care and upbringing of children is a natural right and duty of parents, which they exercise under the supervision and with the assistance of the public authorities.
Article 32
The public authorities must protect youth against exploitation and moral abandonment.
Youth organizations and their coordinating bodies shall have an educational role. The public authorities must give them moral support.
Article 33
All Congolese have the right to education. Parents shall have the right to choose the type of education to be given to their children as a matter of priority.
Education shall be compulsory and free of charge up to the level of study and age provided for by law.
Article 34
Education is free.
It is, however, subject to the supervision of the public authorities under the conditions established by national law.
Article 35
The public authorities shall have the obligation to provide all Congolese with a national education.
National education shall include educational institutions organized by the public authorities and approved educational institutions organized by private individuals.
The creation of schools by the public authorities and the approval by them of schools organized by private individuals shall be carried out in the light of overall school planning.
Schools that are part of the national education system are governed by a statute established by law.
The operation of schools that are part of the national education system is the responsibility of the public authorities.
The public funds allocated for the operation of national education are distributed among these schools, taking into account the actual number of their pupils.
Article 36
All Congolese shall have access to national educational institutions without distinction as to location, origin, religion, race or political or philosophical opinion.
The national educational institutions shall, in collaboration with the religious authorities concerned, ensure to their minor pupils whose parents so request and to their adult pupils who so request, an education in conformity with their religious conviction. A national law shall specify the modalities for the application of this paragraph.
Article 37
Schools established by individuals shall, at the request of the individuals concerned, be approved by the competent public authorities as part of national education, when they are not inferior to schools established by the public authorities in terms of the level of studies and qualifications of the teaching staff, and when they meet the standards established by law in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution concerning the subject of education.
The public authorities shall contribute to the construction costs of schools to be established by individuals, at the request of the latter, when such individuals prove that they have fulfilled the conditions required by law.
Article 38

The practice of art and scientific research are free, subject to the respect of public order and good morals.

Article 39
Every person has the right to the inviolability of his home.
The public authorities may only infringe this right in the cases defined by the law and in the form prescribed by it.
Article 40
No Congolese may be expelled from the territory of the Republic.
All Congolese shall have the right to freely leave the territory of the Republic and to return to it.
The exercise of this right may only be limited by a national law and only to the extent that the present Constitution authorizes a restriction of individual liberties.
Article 41
All Congolese shall have the right to change their domicile and to settle freely in any place of the territory of the Republic and to enjoy there all the rights granted to them by the present Constitution.
The exercise of this right may only be limited by a national law and only in the interest of public order or when the fight against the risks of epidemics or the prevention of criminal offences so requires.
Article 42
Everyone has the right to secrecy of his correspondence and any other form of communication.
The public authorities may not infringe this right except in cases defined by law.
Article 43
Property rights, whether acquired under customary or statutory law, are guaranteed in accordance with national laws.
No one may be deprived of his rightfully acquired movable or immovable property in any part of the territory of the Republic except for reasons of public interest and by virtue of a national law which provides for the prior payment of equitable compensation and the right of the person concerned, in the event of dispute, to apply to the courts of law for a ruling on his rights and to fix the amount of compensation.
The national law may transfer to the Republic, to a province or to a public body, the ownership of certain private enterprises which are of essential national interest.
Notwithstanding the provisions of the three preceding paragraphs, a national law shall regulate the legal regime of land transfers and concessions made before 30 June 1960.
Article 44
The exercise of commerce shall be guaranteed to all Congolese throughout the territory of the Republic under the conditions established by national law.
The movement of goods shall be free throughout the Republic.
Article 45
Without prejudice to the recourse action which they may have against their organs by virtue of the law, the public authorities shall be civilly liable for acts performed by their organs in the exercise of their mandate or functions.
Any person whose rights have been infringed by the public authorities shall have a right of appeal to the courts. Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution, such recourse shall be within the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts.
Article 46
Any foreigner in the territory of the Republic shall enjoy the protection accorded to persons and property under this Constitution, with the exceptions established by national law.
He or she shall enjoy the rights reserved to Congolese by this Constitution only to the extent established by national law.

Title III. Distribution of powers between the Republic and the provincesEdit

Article 47
The distribution of powers between the Republic and the Provinces is determined by this Constitution.
The matters are of the exclusive competence of the Republic, of the concurrent competence of the Republic and the provinces, or of the exclusive competence of the provinces.
Article 48
Without prejudice to the other provisions of this Constitution, the following matters are the exclusive competence of the Republic:
1° Foreign affairs, including diplomatic relations and international treaties and agreements;
2° The regulation of foreign trade;
3° Nationality, status and police of foreigners;
4° Extradition, immigration, emigration and the issuance of passports and visas;
5° External security;
6° National defense;
7° Police of the capital;
8° The national civil service;
9° The public finances of the Republic;
10° The establishment of income, corporate and personal taxes in accordance with article 144;
11° The public debt of the Republic;
12° External borrowing for the needs of the Republic or the provinces;
13° Internal borrowing for the needs of the Republic;
14° The currency, the issue of money and the liberating power of money;
15° Weights and measures;
16° Customs and import and export duties;
17° The commercial code, including insurance;
18° Regulations concerning banks and banking operations;
19° Foreign exchange control;
20° Literary, artistic and industrial property and patents;
21° Posts and telecommunications, including telephones and telegraphs, radio and television broadcasting;
22° Maritime and inland navigation, airlines, railroads, roads and other natural or artificial communication routes that connect two or more provinces or the territory of the Republic with foreign territory, or that have been declared by national law to be of national interest, even though they are located entirely in the territory of a province;
23° Universities and other institutions of higher scientific or professional education created or subsidized by the Central Government or by the provincial governments and which a national law has declared to be of national interest;
24° The establishment of educational standards applicable throughout the territory of the Republic;
25° the penal code and the penitentiary system;
26° the procedure followed before the courts and tribunals;
27° the acquisition of property for the needs of the Republic, without prejudice to the provisions of article 43;
28° the legal and medical professions;
29° Labour legislation, including laws governing relations between employers and workers, the safety of workers, rules relating to social security and, in particular, rules relating to social insurance and compulsory unemployment;
30° Economic legislation, including laws relating to mines, minerals and mineral oils, industry, energy sources and the conservation of natural resources;
31° Legislation on arts and crafts;
32° Medical legislation and the art of healing, preventive medicine, including hygiene, public health, and the protection of children's health, legislation on the profession of pharmacist, on the pharmaceutical trade, on immigration and transit, bilateral and international sanitary regulations, legislation on occupational hygiene, and the allocation of physicians;
33° The elaboration of agricultural and forestry programs of national interest and the coordination of programs of provincial interest; the offices of agricultural products and similar bodies, as well as the distribution of managerial staff in accordance with the provisions of the general statute of public administration agents; the general legislation on agricultural and forestry regimes, on hunting and fishing, on nature conservation (fauna and flora), on catching, on animal husbandry, on foodstuffs of animal origin, and on veterinary art;
34° The historical heritage, the public monuments and the parks declared of national interest;
35° Meteorological services and technical coordination of geodesy, cartography and hydrography services.
Article 49
Without prejudice to the other provisions of this Constitution, the following matters are of concurrent competence of the Republic and the Provinces:
1° The implementation and safeguarding of the fundamental rights enshrined in this Constitution;
(2) civil and customary law
3° Statistics and the census;
4° Internal security;
5° the administration of courts and tribunals, remand prisons and prisons for punishment;
6° Cultural life;
7° the establishment of taxes, including excise and consumption duties, but excluding the taxes referred to in Article 48;
8° the execution of measures concerning the police of foreigners;
9° scientific research and scientific research institutions;
10° medical and philanthropic institutions, the employment of medical and agricultural personnel.
Article 50
Without prejudice to the other provisions of this Constitution, all matters other than those enumerated in Articles 48 and 49 are the exclusive competence of the Provinces and in particular the following matters
1° Provincial political and administrative institutions;
2° The provincial civil service;
3° Provincial electoral law;
4° Provincial public finance;
5° Provincial public debt;
6° Internal borrowing for the needs of the provinces;
7° the granting of concessions and leases on land, mines, minerals, mineral oils, water resources, forests and other national property;
8° Public works of local interest;
9° The provincial police;
10° education other than that referred to in Article 48;
11° Local institutions;
12° The acquisition of goods for the needs of the provinces without prejudice to the provisions of article 43;
13° the establishment of penalties of fine or imprisonment to ensure compliance with provincial laws;
14° the internal communications of the provinces;
15° Local taxes and duties;
16° the placement of workers and the setting of minimum wages in accordance with national legislation; the discipline of labor inspection personnel in accordance with the statute of public administration agents; the supervision of the services and agents of the national social security agency in accordance with the statute of such agents;
17° the assignment of medical personnel in accordance with the statute of public administration agents, the establishment of sanitation programs and campaigns against endemic diseases in accordance with the national planning, the organization of provincial hygiene and prophylaxis services, the application and control of national medical and pharmaceutical legislation, as well as the organization of pharmaceutical services, curative medicine, philanthropic and missionary medical enterprises and medical laboratories;
18° The elaboration of agricultural and forestry programs and their execution in accordance with the general norms of national planning. The assignment of agricultural personnel in accordance with the provisions of the general statute of the agents of the public administration; the application of the national legislation on agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, hunting and fishing, nature conservation and capture, without prejudice to the provisions of article 48 (33°);
19° the historical heritage, public monuments and parks, other than those referred to in article 48 (34°);
20° The administrative control of the geodesy, cartography and hydrography services.
Article 51
A provincial assembly may not legislate on matters of exclusive competence of exclusive competence of the Parliament. Conversely, the Parliament cannot legislate on matters of exclusive competence of a provincial assembly.
However, Parliament may by law empower a provincial assembly to legislate on matters within its exclusive jurisdiction. Where Parliament terminates the delegation of power so given to the Assembly, the provisions of any Provincial Law enacted in relation to matters within the exclusive jurisdiction of Parliament under such delegation of power shall nevertheless continue in force in the Province concerned until such time as a National Law shall have made provision for such matters.
Similarly, a Provincial Assembly may by Act empower Parliament to make laws in relation to matters within its exclusive jurisdiction. :When the Assembly terminates the delegation of power so given to Parliament, the provisions of the national laws enacted in matters within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Assemblies, by virtue of that delegation of power, shall nevertheless remain in force in the Province concerned until a Provincial law has regulated them.
In matters within the concurrent jurisdiction of the Republic and the Provinces, any Provincial law inconsistent with National laws and regulations is null and void, or repealed by operation of law, to the extent of such inconsistency.
National law prevails over provincial law.
Article 52

Unless otherwise provided by national law, the provincial governments, through their departments, execute the national laws and national laws and regulations.

Title IV. National InstitutionsEdit

Article 53
The principal national institutions are:
1° The President of the Republic;
2° The Government, headed by a Prime Minister;
3° The Parliament, composed of two Houses;
4° The Constitutional Court;
5° The courts and tribunals.

Section I. The central executive powerEdit

§1 The President of the RepublicEdit

Article 54
The President of the Republic represents the Nation.
He is the head of the central executive. He shall determine and conduct the policy of the State. He sets the framework for the action of the Government, sees to its application and informs the Parliament of its evolution.
Article 55
The President of the Republic is elected for five years.
His mandate expires six months after the end of the legislature.
Any Congolese citizen by birth, who is at least 40 years old and who meets the conditions of eligibility for the Senate, may be elected President of the Republic.
The President of the Republic may be re-elected immediately only once.
Article 56
The President of the Republic is elected by an electoral body composed of the members of Parliament and the delegates of the city of Leopoldville, who vote in the capital, as well as the members of the Provincial Assemblies, who each vote in the capital of the province they represent.
The city of Leopoldville designates a number of electors for the president equivalent to the number of provincial councilors to which that city would be entitled if it were constituted as a province.
The ballot shall be called by the President of the Chamber of Deputies at least thirty days and at most sixty days before the expiration of the term of office of the incumbent President of the Republic.
Nominations for the Presidency of the Republic shall be filed with the Chamber of Deputies at least ninety days and not more than one hundred and twenty days before the expiration of the term of office of the incumbent President.
The election is held by an absolute majority of votes in the first two rounds of voting and by a relative majority in the third round. In the second round, only the two candidates who received the highest number of votes in the first round remain in competition.
Before taking office, the President of the Republic shall take the following oath before the President of the Constitutional Court, in the presence of the National Congress of Parliament, the Governors of the provinces and the members of the Constitutional Court:
"I, X..... elected President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, swear to observe the Constitution and the laws of the Democratic Republic of Congo, to maintain national independence and territorial integrity.
A national organic law shall specify the modalities for the application of this article.
Article 57
In the event of a vacancy in the office of President, due to death, resignation or any other cause, or in the event of an impediment, as determined by the Constitutional Court to which the Prime Minister has referred the matter, or, failing that, by the Prime Minister's replacement appointed in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article 67, the duties of President of the Republic shall be temporarily performed by the President of the Senate. The President of the Republic may have the end of the impediment established by the Constitutional Court.
In the event of a vacancy or when the impediment is declared definitive by the Constitutional Court, the election of the new President of the Republic shall take place on the invitation of the President of the Chamber of Deputies at least sixty days and at most ninety days after the opening of the vacancy or the declaration of the definitive nature of the impediment.
Nominations shall be filed with the Chamber of Deputies within sixty days of the vacancy or the declaration of the definitive nature of the impediment.
If the remaining term of office of the President of the Republic is three years or more, the new President of the Republic shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs 1, 2 and 5 of Article 56.
If the remaining term of office of the President of the Republic is less than three years, the new President is elected by an electoral body composed of the members of Parliament, five councillors from each provincial assembly and five delegates appointed from among its members by the assembly of presidential electors of the city of Leopoldville referred to in paragraph 2 of Article 56. The electorate meets in the capital and the election takes place in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 5 of article 56.
The President of the Republic elected in accordance with the provisions of this article shall hold office until the expiration of the normal term of office of his predecessor. The provisions of paragraph 4 of Article 55 shall apply to him only after this term.
Article 58

The President of the Republic directs and controls the foreign policy of the Republic. He shall accredit ambassadors and extraordinary envoys to foreign powers; ambassadors and extraordinary envoys shall be accredited to him.

Article 59
The President of the Republic communicates with both Houses either directly or by means of messages which he has read out and which do not give rise to any debate.
At least once a year he shall deliver a speech before the Houses assembled in National Congress in which he shall set forth the policy of the Central Government.
Article 60
The President of the Republic promulgates national laws under the conditions laid down in this Constitution.
Except in the cases provided for in paragraph 6 of article 95 and paragraph 7 of article 97, he may, by means of a reasoned message addressed to Parliament, before the expiry of the time limit for promulgation, request the Houses to re-consider the law or some of its articles.
This new deliberation cannot be refused. Unless it has been amended in accordance with the proposals contained in the message of the President of the Republic, the law is only definitively adopted if it receives, in each of the Houses, 2/3 of the votes of all its members. If the law is adopted, the President of the Republic promulgates it within the time limit set in Article 94 (paragraph 1).
If the President of the Republic fails to promulgate the national law within the time limit set by this Constitution, the President of the Chamber of Deputies shall do so.
Article 61
The President of the Republic ensures the execution of national laws and makes national regulations on police and the internal organization of the central administration. He exercises this power by means of ordinances or decrees.
He may, under the conditions laid down in Articles 95 to 97, issue decrees having the force of national law.
In all cases, the decrees are deliberated in the Council of Ministers.
Article 62
The President of the Republic appoints the Prime Minister and the other members of the Central Government.
He terminates the functions of the Prime Minister or of one or more members of the Central Government, upon their resignation or upon the proposal of the Prime Minister.
He may also, on his own initiative, dismiss the Prime Minister or one or more members of the Central Government, in particular when a serious conflict arises between him and them.
He has sovereignty to settle disputes arising between the Prime Minister and other members of the Government.
Article 63
The President of the Republic invests the Governors of the provinces with the power to represent him in the province.
He is the Supreme Chief of the Armed Forces. He appoints and dismisses, in accordance with national law, the Commander-in-Chief and other officers of the armed forces.
He appoints, in accordance with national law, the advisors to the Constitutional Court, the advisors to the Supreme Court of Justice, to the Courts of Appeal and to the other courts, and the judges of all other courts.
He appoints and dismisses senior officials of the national administration in accordance with national law.
The President of the Republic and his Government have the central administration and the armed forces at their disposal in accordance with national law.
He takes the oath of office of the members of the central Government, the governors of the provinces, the advisers to the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Justice, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and other senior officers.
He may remit, commute and reduce sentences. However, he may only pardon a member of the central government or of a provincial government convicted by the Constitutional Court or the Supreme Court of Justice with the consent of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary.
He confers the ranks in the national orders, in accordance with national law, and the decorations of the Republic.
It has the right to coin money and issue paper money in accordance with national law.

§.2 The Central GovernmentEdit

Article 64
The Central Government is composed of the Prime Minister and the Ministers, whose number shall not exceed fifteen.
In addition, it may include a maximum of three Secretaries of State attached to the Prime Minister or to a Minister.
Article 65
The Prime Minister is appointed by the President.
The members of the Central Government are appointed by the President of the Republic on the proposal of the Prime Minister.
The ministerial portfolios are, on the proposal of the Prime Minister, distributed among the members of the Central Government by the President of the Republic.
After their appointment, the members of the Central Government take the following oath before the President of the Republic:
"I swear to observe the Constitution and the laws of the Democratic Republic of Congo and to faithfully and loyally fulfill the duties entrusted to me."
Article 66
The President of the Republic shall, within thirty days of the formation of the Government, if the Houses are in session at the time of the formation of the Government, or within thirty days of the meeting of the Houses, if the latter were in recess at the time of the formation of the Government, submit the act of appointment of the members of the Government to the approval of the Parliament meeting in National Congress.
If Congress refuses to give its approval, the Government is deemed to have resigned and the President of the Republic reappoints a Prime Minister who composes another Government whose act of appointment of the members must be approved in accordance with the preceding paragraph.
Any new member appointed by the President of the Republic to form part of a ministerial team for which Congress has given its approval as provided for in the first paragraph of this article, shall not take office until his appointment has been approved by the Chamber of Deputies.
Without prejudice to the other provisions of this Constitution, the members of the Central Government shall hold office until the end of the term of the President of the Republic.
Article 67
The Prime Minister shall direct the activities of the central government within the framework of the programme drawn up and the decisions taken by the President of the Republic. He shall keep the President of the Republic fully informed of the conduct of government business.
The Prime Minister, or in his absence, the minister designated by him, or failing that by the Cabinet, chairs the Cabinet Council. He shall settle any disputes which may arise between members of the Government.
Article 68

The Ministers are the heads of their departments. They shall each implement in their department, under the direction of the Prime Minister, the programme set and the decisions taken by the President of the Republic. Within these limits, they take all decisions relating to the management of the public services falling within their departments. The Secretaries of State exercise, under the authority of the Minister to whom they are attached, the powers expressly assigned to them by the President of the Republic. They replace the Ministers during their absence and countersign in this case the acts of the President of the Republic.

Article 69
Subject to the other provisions of this Constitution, the members of the central government are responsible only to the President of the Republic. They undertake, by countersigning the acts of the President of the Republic, to execute such acts.
Subject to the other provisions of this Constitution, the means of control of the Parliament over the central Government are: oral or written questioning, interpellation, hearing by the committees, commission of inquiry, warning or admonition.
Article 70
In the event of the permanent incapacity of the Prime Minister, as determined by the President of the Republic, or when the functions of the Prime Minister are terminated in accordance with the provisions of Article 62 (paragraphs 2 and 3), the Central Government is deemed to have resigned.
The Central Government is deemed to have resigned on the expiry of the mandate of the President of the Republic.
In all cases where the Central Government is resigned or deemed to have resigned, it shall carry out current affairs until a government is formed in accordance with the provisions of Articles 64 and 65.

§(3) Common provisions relating to the President of the Republic and the members of the Central GovernmentEdit

Article 71
The President of the Republic and the members of the Central Government are criminally responsible for acts performed in the exercise of their functions in cases of high treason, intentional violation of this Constitution, embezzlement, misappropriation or corruption, and in other cases provided for by a national organic law.
Any act contrary to the National Constitution by which the President of the Republic or a member of the Central Government undermines national independence or territorial integrity, or by which he substitutes himself or attempts to substitute himself for the Houses, the Constitutional Court, the Courts and Tribunals, a Provincial Government or a Provincial Assembly, or by which he prevents them or attempts to prevent them from exercising the powers vested in them by this Constitution, is a crime of high treason within the meaning of the preceding paragraph. Any act contrary to the National Constitution by which the Prime Minister or a member of the Central Government substitutes himself or attempts to substitute himself for the President of the Republic, or by which he prevents him or attempts to prevent him from exercising the powers vested in him by this Constitution, is also a crime of high treason.
The national organic law referred to in paragraph 1 of this article shall define the other offenses referred to in said paragraph.
Article 72
The President of the Republic or the members of the Central Government may not be prosecuted for the offences provided for in the first paragraph of Article 71, nor for any other offence against the criminal laws, unless they have been indicted by one of the Houses, deciding by an absolute majority of its members and by secret ballot.
They shall be brought before the Constitutional Court in case of high treason or intentional violation of this Constitution, and before the Supreme Court of Justice in all other cases.
When they have been convicted of high treason, or of intentional violation of this Constitution, or when they have been convicted of a crime which, according to the national electoral law, entails the deprivation of the right to be elected Senator, the Constitutional Court shall pronounce their dismissal.
A national law shall determine the penalties for the crime of high treason and the manner in which this Article shall be applied.

§ 4 The Conference of Provincial GovernorsEdit

Article 73
The Conference of Provincial Governors is composed of the President of the Republic, who presides over it, the Prime Minister and the provincial governors.
Without prejudice to the other provisions of this Constitution, the Conference has an advisory role.
It shall meet at least once a year at the call of its chairman.
The purpose of the Conference of Provincial Governors is to strengthen the unity of the Republic and to facilitate the coordination of the policies of the provinces.
A national organic law shall determine the modalities for the implementation of this article.

Section II. The National Legislative PowerEdit

1. The composition and functioning of ParliamentEdit

Article 74
The National Parliament is composed of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.
The Deputies represent the Nation.
The Senators elected by the Provincial Assemblies each represent the Province to which the Assembly that elected them belongs. The Senators elected by the City of Leopoldville each represent the City.
Article 75
The deputies are elected by direct universal suffrage and secret ballot at the rate of one deputy per 100,000 inhabitants; each fraction of population equal to or greater than 50,000 gives the right to one more deputy.
The city of Leopoldville and each of the provinces are represented by six senators. The senators representing the provinces are elected by the provincial assemblies. One of the six senators representing each province is a customary chief or

one of the six senators representing each province is a traditional chief or a notable elected in that capacity.

The senators of the city of Leopoldville are elected by direct universal suffrage and by secret ballot.
In addition to the Senators referred to in the second paragraph of this article, former Presidents of the Republic are automatically members of the Senate for life.
Article 76
The duration of the legislature is five years.
The powers of the Houses expire on June 15 of the fifth year following their election.
The election of the new Houses shall take place at least sixty days and at most ninety days before the end of the legislature.
To be eligible to vote, a person must be Congolese, be at least 18 years old and not be in one of the cases of exclusion provided for in the national electoral law.
To be eligible for the Chamber of Deputies, one must be Congolese, be at least 25 years old and not be in one of the cases of exclusion provided for by the national electoral law.
To be eligible for the Senate, one must be Congolese, at least 30 years old and not be in one of the cases of exclusion provided for by the national electoral law.
The electoral law determines the modalities of the electoral operations and the conditions under which the persons called upon, in case of vacancy of the seat, to replace the members of either House until the renewal of the Parliament are designated.
Article 77
Each House verifies the credentials of its members.
In case of dispute, the Constitutional Court shall rule in accordance with national legislation.
Article 78

The term of office of a Member of Parliament shall end upon death, resignation, permanent incapacity, unjustified and unauthorized absence from more than one-fourth of the sittings of an ordinary session, or when the Member of Parliament falls into one of the cases of exclusion provided for by the national electoral law.

Article 79
Each House shall adopt its own rules of procedure. Before being implemented, the President of the House concerned shall communicate the rules of procedure to the Constitutional Court, which shall rule on the conformity of these rules with the present Constitution. :The provisions declared not to be in conformity may not be implemented.
Any subsequent modification of the regulations is subject to the same procedure.
Each House defines, within the framework of its internal regulations, the administrative organization of its services.
The administrative services of each Chamber are placed under the high authority of a Secretary General appointed in accordance with the rules of the Statute of the Parliament's officials. The Secretary General manages the funds of the Assembly. He/she has custody of the archives of the House.
A national law determines the status of the officials of the Parliament in accordance with the provisions of Article 156.
Article 80
The Houses shall meet in ordinary session twice a year.
The first session shall open on the first Monday in March and shall close on the first Monday in June if the agenda is not exhausted earlier; the second session shall open on the first Monday in September and shall close on the first Monday in December if the agenda is not exhausted earlier.
The Houses shall be convened in extraordinary session by the President of the Republic acting on his own initiative or at the request of one quarter of the members of either House.
Each House shall be convened in extraordinary session by its President at the request of one third of its members. In this case, the other House shall meet as of right.
In the cases referred to in the two preceding paragraphs, the act of convocation sets the agenda of the session.
The Houses shall meet as of right in extraordinary session the day after the expiry of the powers of the previous Houses in order to constitute their bureau.
The President of the Republic shall declare the ordinary sessions closed, on the proposal of the Bureau of the Houses, and the extraordinary sessions closed as soon as the Houses have exhausted their agenda.
The sessions of both Houses are simultaneous. Any meeting of either House held outside the time of the sessions is null and void.
Article 81
The sessions of the Houses are public. Each House may decide to sit in camera; in this case, it is allowed to decide afterwards if the session should be resumed in public on the same subject.
The President has the authority of the assembly. He may, after giving a warning, expel at once any member of the public who disturbs the order or gives signs of approval or disapproval.
Any person who refuses to comply with an expulsion order shall be subject to the penalty provided for by national law.
Minutes shall be kept of the meetings and shall be published in accordance with the conditions established by national law.
The President of each House ensures the authenticity of the acts of the House by his signature.
Article 82

Each year, during the ordinary session in March, each House shall elect its own officers, who shall consist of a President, a Vice-President and two Secretaries.

Article 83.
The Houses shall meet in National Congress only in the cases expressly provided for in this Constitution.
When the Houses meet in National Congress, the officers of the Congress shall be those of the Chamber of Deputies and the President of the Congress shall be, in turn, the President of the Senate and the President of the Chamber of Deputies.

Article 79 (paragraphs 1, 2 and 3) shall apply mutatis mutandis to the National Congress.

Article 84
In addition to the Standing Committees of each House, the two Houses shall set up one or more Joint Standing Parliamentary Committees composed of members elected in equal numbers by each of the two Houses.
The competent joint standing committees shall meet to reconcile points of view when the Houses disagree on a matter on which they must adopt the same decision in order for it to be valid.
Article 85
Members of Parliament shall exercise their mandate independently.
Any imperative mandate is null and void and the right to vote is personal.
Members of Parliament may not attend debates on matters in which they have a personal interest.
Article 86

The members of the central government have the right and, if requested, the obligation to attend the meetings of the Houses. They must be heard whenever they so request. They may be assisted by government commissioners. They do not take part in the voting.

Article 87
For the sittings of each House or of the Parliament meeting in national congress, one-third of the members shall constitute a quorum. :However, subject to the other provisions of this Constitution, each of the two Houses or the Parliament meeting in national congress shall only take decisions if an absolute majority of their members is present.
Subject to the other provisions of this Constitution, all resolutions and decisions are taken by a majority of votes.
Article 88
Votes are cast either aloud or by sitting and standing. A vote on a bill as a whole is taken by roll call and by voice vote.
Votes may also be cast by a technical system that provides equivalent guarantees.
Subject to the other provisions of this Constitution, each House may decide on the secrecy of the vote for the adoption of a specific resolution. The presentation and election of candidates shall be by secret ballot.
Article 89.

French is the official language of the Parliament; each House may also admit other working languages.

2. The elaboration of lawsEdit

Article 90
National legislative power is exercised collectively by the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.
The initiative for national laws belongs concurrently to the President of the Republic and to each member of Parliament.
Draft bills or proposals for national legislation are first submitted to the Council on Legislation for its opinion.
The Council refers draft laws to the central government and proposed laws to the office of the House that forwarded them. In both cases, the Council shall submit a report.
The Council on Legislation shall consider a bill or proposed law on which it has given its opinion and shall consider it successively in both Houses with a view to adopting the same text.
The members of the central government shall have the right of amendment.
In each House, any bill or proposed law is first examined by the competent committee, which presents it to the assembly with a reasoned report. It is then discussed by the assembly, which decides on it article by article and decides on its adoption by a final vote on all the articles.
Article 91
The Parliament votes on the budgetary bills which must be submitted to the offices of the Houses no later than the September session. :It shall proceed in accordance with the provisions of Article 90.
Any amendment to the draft budget involving an increase in expenditure must provide for the necessary ways and means, and any amendment involving a decrease in revenue which will have the effect of breaking the balance of the budget must provide for a corresponding decrease in expenditure or for new revenue.
If Parliament has not voted on the Government's bill before the start of the new fiscal year, the provisions of the bill may be brought into force by decree-law.
If the budget bill for a fiscal year has not been tabled in time to be enacted before the beginning of that fiscal year, the President of the Republic shall request the Parliament to make the necessary provisional appropriations. If Parliament does not vote on the provisional appropriation within fifteen days, the provisions of the bill providing for such appropriation shall be put into effect by decree-law.
If by the opening of the March session the Government has not submitted its draft budget, it is deemed to have resigned.
If, by the end of the March session, Parliament has not voted on the draft budget submitted by the Government at least sixty days before, the President of the Republic shall bring the provisions of the draft into force by decree-law.
Article 92.
The national electoral law, the law on nationality and the national laws to which this Constitution confers the character of organic laws shall be adopted by each House only by an absolute majority, at least, of its members. They are amended under the same conditions.
They may not be promulgated until they have been submitted to the Constitutional Court, which verifies their conformity with this Constitution within one month.
Article 93
If a bill or proposed law is declared urgent by the President of the Republic, it shall be examined by priority in each House by the competent committee according to a procedure provided for by a national organic law. The same law shall determine the manner in which the work of the committee shall be made public and the time limit within which the committee and the House shall decide on the urgent bill or proposal.
If the committee or the House does not take a decision within the time limit set, the bill or proposal is deemed to have been adopted by the committee or the House, as the case may be.
The normal procedure shall be applied to bills or proposals for laws amending this Constitution or amending the organic laws, the electoral law and the nationality law, as well as to bills or proposals for laws relating to the delegation of powers provided for in Article 95.
Article 94.
Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 60, national laws shall be promulgated by the President of the Republic within ten days of their transmission to the central government by the President of the House whose vote led to their final adoption.
National laws are sealed with the seal of the Republic and published in the Official Gazette of the Republic immediately after their promulgation.
Unless otherwise provided, a national law shall come into force thirty days after its publication in the Official Gazette.
Article 95
The Houses may, either on their own initiative or at the request of the President of the Republic, delegate to the latter by law the exercise of national legislative power in certain specific matters and for the period of time they determine.
The President of the Republic exercises the power thus delegated to him by means of decree-laws deliberated in the Council of Ministers. The Houses may request the central government to communicate to their offices, within the time limit they shall determine, the decree-laws deliberated in the Council of Ministers.
If a decree-law is rejected by either House within the time limit set by the law referred to in the first paragraph, the President of the Republic may not promulgate it.
Decree-laws are published under the same conditions as national laws and have the force of national law.
The Houses may at any time modify or withdraw, by law, the powers delegated to the President of the Republic.
Article 96
In extraordinary cases of necessity and urgency, other than those referred to in Article 97, the President of the Republic may issue decrees having the force of law.
He shall present them, within 24 hours of their signing, to the offices of the Houses for approval by law and to the Constitutional Court, which shall verify their conformity with this Constitution.
When the Houses are not in session, the President of the Republic shall convene them in extraordinary session. Decree-laws that are not approved within sixty days of their publication cease to have effect.
Article 97
In time of war, the President of the Republic proclaims a state of siege. When an external danger threatens the Republic or when the regular functioning of the institutions of the Republic or of a province is interrupted, the President of the Republic proclaims a state of emergency. He shall then take the urgent measures necessary to deal with the situation.
The President of the Republic shall place the declaration of a state of siege or emergency, as well as each of the measures which are normally within the domain of the law or which derogate from this Constitution, immediately after their signature, on the desks of the Houses, for approval by Parliament. If the Houses are not in session, he convenes them for this purpose.

Emergency measures are, as soon as they are signed, submitted to the Constitutional Court, which declares whether or not they derogate from this Constitution.

Before the meeting of the Houses, the Constitutional Court shall also examine, at the request of the board of either House, whether the measures taken are tainted by excess of power. It declares null and void any measure that is tainted by excess of power.
The proclamation of a state of siege or of emergency and the emergency measures which are in the domain of the law cease to have effect as of right if the Houses reject them or, in any case, do not approve them within a period of sixty days from the date of their deposit on the desks of the Houses, if the latter are in session, or from the date of the meeting of the Houses, if the latter are in recess at the time of the proclamation of the state of siege or of emergency. Measures declared by the Constitutional Court to be in derogation of this Constitution shall be approved only by a two-thirds majority of each House, and the above-mentioned period of sixty days shall be reduced to fifteen days in this case.
A state of siege or emergency may be proclaimed in all or part of the territory of the Republic for a period not exceeding six months. :It may be extended for successive periods of three months under the same conditions as it is proclaimed.
The Chambers may at any time put an end to the state of siege or emergency by a law.

3. Special provisionsEdit

Article 98
Petitions can only be presented to the Houses in writing.
Each House has the right to send the petitions addressed to it to the members of the central government.
The members of the central government are obliged to give explanations in response to the contents of the petitions whenever either House so requires.
Article 99
No member of Parliament may be prosecuted, arrested, detained or tried on account of opinions or votes cast by him in the exercise of his duties.
No member of Parliament may, during a session, be prosecuted or arrested in criminal matters, except with the authorization of the House to which he belongs, except in cases of flagrante delicto.
The detention of a Member of Parliament or the prosecution of a Member of Parliament shall be suspended if the House of which he or she is a member so requires, but such suspension shall not exceed the duration of the current session.
When not in session, no member of Parliament may be arrested without the permission of the Board of the House of which he or she is a member, except in cases of flagrante delicto or of an attempt on life or limb, or of corruption, or in the case of authorized prosecution or the execution of a sentence.

Title V. Provincial InstitutionsEdit

Section I. General ProvisionsEdit

Article 100
The provinces are subdivided into administrative entities called Arrondissements or towns, communes and chiefdoms.
The main organs of the province are as follows:
1° The provincial government;
2° the Provincial Assembly.
Article 101
The Provinces and the authorities depending on them are bound to respect this Constitution and the measures taken by the central authorities in accordance with it.
Subject to the other provisions of this Constitution, each province organizes its institutions and enacts its own legislation.
When a state of siege or emergency has been proclaimed or when the provincial assembly so requests, the President of the Republic appoints, by decree, a committee presided over by a High Commissioner of the Republic, who is responsible for running the province.

Section II. Provincial GovernmentEdit

Article 102
The provincial government is composed of the provincial governor and members, the number of whom may not exceed six, as determined by a provincial law.
In order to be appointed governor or member of a provincial government, one must meet the conditions of eligibility to the provincial assembly.
Article 103

The provincial governor is the head of the provincial executive; he represents the President of the Republic in the province.

Article 104
The Provincial Governor is elected by the Provincial Assembly from among its members or from outside, by a three-fourths majority of the members of the Assembly in the first two rounds of voting. After two rounds of voting, only the two candidates who received the highest number of votes in the second round remain in the race and the election is held by a two-thirds majority of the assembly.
The date of the ballot shall be fixed by the President of the Provincial Assembly. The ballot shall be held not less than eight days and not more than thirty days from the date of the constitution of the office of the assembly.
If the governor is not elected within one month of the opening of the ballot, the President of the Republic proclaims a state of emergency, which ends as soon as the provincial governor is elected.
After his or her election, the Governor is invested by right with the powers of representative of the Head of State in the province by the President of the Republic.
Before taking office, he or she takes the following oath before the President of the Republic: "I swear to observe the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as the national and provincial laws enacted in accordance with this Constitution, and to loyally and faithfully carry out the duties entrusted to me.
Article 105
The Provincial Governor directs the policy of the Province in collaboration with the governmental team which he presides over.
He coordinates and controls the activities of the other members of the government and determines the attributions of each of them.
He decides in a sovereign manner any conflict of attribution that arises between the members of the government.
He prepares each year a draft budget which he submits to the Assembly.
He promulgates and publishes the provincial laws.
He ensures the execution of the provincial laws and makes the provincial regulations of police and internal organization of the provincial administration. He exercises this power by means of decrees.
He has the provincial services at his disposal under the conditions fixed by the provincial law.
He takes, in case of duly established emergency and in the form of decree-laws, the legislative measures imposed on the province by a national law, a decree-law or an ordinance, if two successive reminders to the assembly have remained without action.
He ensures the execution of the national legislative and regulatory acts for which he is responsible by the central government.
He directs the national administrative services that exist in the province and the relations that the coordination between the central and provincial institutions requires.
He may defend in court any action brought against the province. He can institute, without prior deliberation of the Assembly, actions that have as their object movable property as well as possessory actions and do all conservatory acts.
He shall choose the lawyers and agents to represent the Province before the courts.
The actions of the province, whether as plaintiff or defendant, are carried out by the provincial governor.
Article 106
The normal term of office of the Provincial Governor is one legislature.
His term of office ends upon his death, resignation or removal from office, or at the beginning of each new legislature when the new Governor is sworn in. A resignation is valid only if it is accepted by the provincial assembly.
In case of absence or inability to act, the Governor shall be replaced by a member of the Government designated by him or her or, failing that, by the Cabinet Council.
In the event of vacancy of the post of Governor, for any reason whatsoever, or in the event of definitive impediment established by the Constitutional Court to which the President of the Republic, the President of the Provincial Assembly or the Cabinet Council refers the matter, the functions of the Governor of the Province are exercised provisionally by a member of the Government designated by the Cabinet Council.
The election of the new Governor shall take place on the invitation of the President of the Provincial Assembly, at the latest on the thirtieth day after the opening of the vacancy or the establishment of the definitive impediment.
Article 107
The members of the Provincial Government are appointed by the Provincial Governor from within or outside the Provincial Assembly. They shall take office only after the provincial assembly approves their appointment and they are sworn in by the Governor.
If the provincial assembly refuses to approve the appointment of the government appointees, the government must compose another government team to present to the assembly.
The office of a member of the provincial government shall terminate by death, resignation accepted by the Governor, or removal from office in accordance with Article 110, or when the term of office of the government ends for any reason.
The outgoing government shall carry on the business of the day until a new governor takes office.
Article 108
The Provincial Governor and the other members of the Provincial Government are criminally responsible for any act contrary to this Constitution or the Provincial Constitution by which they substitute themselves or attempt to substitute themselves for the President of the Republic, the Central Government, the Legislative Chambers, the Constitutional Court, the Courts and Tribunals, or the Provincial Assembly, or by which they prevent or attempt to prevent the aforementioned authorities or constituted bodies from exercising the powers and duties entrusted to them by this Constitution or by the Provincial Constitution.
They can only be indicted for the above-mentioned acts by the President of the Republic or by the Provincial Assembly ruling by secret ballot and by an absolute majority of its members. Nevertheless, members of the provincial government other than the provincial governor may also be impeached by the latter.
Members of the Provincial Government impeached in accordance with the provisions of this Article shall be tried by the Constitutional Court.
A national law shall determine the manner of proceeding against the accused and the penalties applicable to them.
Article 109
The Provincial Governor and other members of the Provincial Government may only be prosecuted for ordinary offences if they have been indicted by the President of the Republic or by the Provincial Assembly ruling in the manner provided for in the second paragraph of the preceding article. In this case, they shall be tried by the Supreme Court of Justice.
A national law shall determine the method of proceeding against the accused.
Article 110

In the event of a conviction by the Constitutional Court or of a conviction by the Supreme Court of Justice which, under the terms of the national electoral law, entails the deprivation of the right to be elected Provincial Councillor, the Provincial Governor shall be removed from office by the President of the Republic; the other members of the Provincial Government shall, in the same cases, be removed from office by the Provincial Governor.

Section III. The Provincial AssemblyEdit

Article 111
The Provincial Assembly is composed of:
1° Provincial councilors elected by direct universal suffrage and secret ballot ;
2° Provincial Councillors co-opted by the elected Councillors from among the notables and customary chiefs.
The assembly has one elected representative per 25,000 inhabitants. Each fraction of the population equal to or greater than 12,500 gives the right to one more elected representative. The number of elected members of an assembly may not be less than fifteen.
The number of co-opted chiefs and notables is equal to one fifth of the number of elected councilors, but not less than three.
Provincial councilors represent the province and not the electoral district or any other administrative entity from which they come.
Article 112
The duration of the legislature is five years. The powers of the Assembly expire on May 15 of the fifth year following its election.
The election of Provincial Councilors shall take place at least thirty days and at most sixty days before the end of the legislature.
In order to be an elector, a person must meet the requirements set out in Article 76 (paragraph 3) and have been ordinarily resident in the province for one year.
To be eligible to vote in the provincial assembly, one must meet the conditions set out in article 76 (paragraph 4) to be eligible to vote in the Chamber of Deputies.
The procedures for the election and co-option of provincial councilors are determined by provincial law. The same law determines the conditions under which the persons called upon to replace the Provincial Councillors in case of vacancy are elected or co-opted until the Assembly is renewed.
Article 113
Each year, the Provincial Assembly meets by right in two ordinary sessions, on the first Monday of April and October. The duration of each ordinary session is at least fifteen days and at most sixty days.
The closing of the ordinary sessions is pronounced, on the proposal of the President of the Assembly, by the Governor of the Province.

Each year, at the ordinary session in April, the Assembly elects its bureau, which consists of a President, a Vice-President and two Secretaries.

The first session of the legislature is convened by the current governor within fifteen days after the close of the ballot for the election of provincial councilors. The assembly shall conduct a credentials examination of its members before electing the final board.
The Assembly shall meet in extraordinary session when convened by the Provincial Governor or the President of the Assembly for a specific agenda. The President of the Assembly must convene the session if one fifth of the Provincial Councillors so request. The extraordinary session is closed by order of the Governor as soon as the agenda is exhausted.
Any meeting of the Assembly outside the ordinary or extraordinary session is null and void.
Article 114

The Provincial Assembly shall meet in the capital of the province, unless the Governor authorizes it to meet in another locality of the province due to an extraordinary event.

Article 115
At the first session of the legislature, the Assembly, after having carried out the operations provided for in paragraph 4 of Article 113, elects the Senators who will represent the province in the Senate.
The election shall be carried out in accordance with the national electoral law.
Article 116

When the Assembly is called upon, by virtue of this Constitution, to approve an act of an authority of the central power or when it requests the President of the Republic to take the measures provided for in Articles 4 (paragraph 4) and 101 (paragraph 3), it shall decide by an absolute majority of its members.

Article 117
Within the limits of the autonomy granted to the provinces by this Constitution, the Constitution and the provincial laws are adopted by the Provincial Assembly.
The initiative to revise the Constitution and the provincial laws belongs concurrently to the provincial governor and to each member of the assembly.
The provincial Constitution and any provincial constitutional law amending it shall, before its promulgation, be submitted by the Governor to the Constitutional Court, which shall decide within sixty days on its conformity with this Constitution.
Article 118

The Assembly gives its opinion on all matters submitted to it by the Prime Minister, as well as each House.

Article 119

The President of the Assembly ensures by his signature the authenticity of the acts of the Assembly.

Article 120

The provisions of Articles 77, 78, 79, 81 (paragraphs 1 to 5), 85, 88, 90 (paragraphs 3, 4, 6 and 7), 91, 93, 94 and 99 are applicable mutatis mutandis to the Provincial Assemblies and their members.

Section IV. Relations between the Government and the Provincial AssemblyEdit

Article 121

The provisions of Articles 59, 69 (paragraph 2), 86 and 95 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the Governor and the members of the Provincial Government in their relations with the Provincial Assembly.

Title VI. The Judicial PowerEdit

Section I. General ProvisionsEdit

Article 122
The judicial power is independent of the legislative and executive powers. It is vested in the courts and tribunals.
In no case may it be exercised by the organs of the Legislative or Executive Branches.
Courts and tribunals may be established only by national law. No extraordinary commissions or tribunals of any kind may be created.
Justice shall be administered in the territory of the Republic in the name of the people.
The judgments and orders of the courts and tribunals are executed in the name of the President of the Republic.
Article 123
The courts and tribunals shall apply the law and custom insofar as the latter is in conformity with the law, public order and morality.
The courts and tribunals shall apply regulatory acts only insofar as they are in conformity with the law.
Article 124
In time of peace, military tribunals shall hear only offenses committed by members of the armed forces.
The President of the Republic may, when a state of siege or emergency has been proclaimed and after the advice of the Attorney General of the Supreme Court of Justice, suspend in a part of the Republic and for such time as he shall determine, the repressive action of the courts and tribunals and substitute the action of the military tribunals for such criminal offences as he may determine.
In cases where the action of the military courts is substituted for that of the ordinary courts and tribunals, the rights of defence and appeal may not be abolished.

Section II. Courts and tribunalsEdit

Article 125
The set of courts and tribunals includes a Supreme Court of Justice, courts of appeal, military courts and the courts established by national law.
The organization, competence and procedure of the courts and tribunals are regulated by national law.
Article 126
The Supreme Court of Justice has two sections:
- The judicial section;
- The administrative section.
The judicial section is competent in particular:
1° to hear appeals in cassation lodged for violation of the law against decisions rendered at last instance by the judicial section of the courts of appeal and by the tribunals; in this case, it does not hear the merits of the cases;
2° To try the President of the Republic, members of the Central Government, governors of the provinces and members of the provincial governments in the cases provided for in this Constitution.
The Administrative Division is competent, in particular:
1° To hear in first and last instance appeals for annulment on the grounds of violation of the law, lodged against acts, regulations and decisions of the central administrative authorities;
2° to hear appeals from decisions rendered by the administrative divisions of the courts of appeal on appeals for annulment on the grounds of violation of the law, lodged against acts, regulations and decisions of provincial administrative authorities and local administrative authorities;
3° to hear, in cases where there are no other competent courts, claims for compensation for exceptional damage resulting from a measure taken or ordered by the Republic, the province or the local authority; the administrative division of the court shall decide in equity by means of a reasoned opinion, taking into account all circumstances of public or private interest.
Article 127
The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Justice is exercised throughout the territory of the Republic.
The decisions of the Supreme Court of Justice are binding on the lower courts and tribunals and are not subject to appeal.
Article 128
The courts of appeal shall comprise a judicial section and an administrative section.
The administrative division has jurisdiction to hear in the first instance appeals for annulment on the grounds of violation of the law, lodged against acts, regulations and decisions of provincial administrative authorities and local administrative authorities.

Section III. Magistrates and the Superior Council of the JudiciaryEdit

Article 129
The status of magistrates is determined by a national law. They can only be appointed by virtue of a national law.
A judge is irremovable; he can only be removed by a new appointment and with his consent. He is appointed for life.
The President of the Republic appoints, suspends and dismisses public prosecutors.
Article 130
The Superior Council of the Judiciary shall comprise:
1° A member appointed by the Constitutional Court, from within or outside of it, from among the judges;
2° the First President of the Supreme Court of Justice and another member of the said Court
3° Three judges elected by the delegates of the courts of appeal;
4° Seven judges elected by the delegates of the other courts.
The High Council is chaired by the President of the Republic. The Minister of Justice is the ex officio vice-president. He may substitute for the President of the Republic.
The High Council of the Judiciary gives its opinion on the appointment of judges of the courts and tribunals. It is consulted on pardons.
The High Council of the Judiciary acts as a disciplinary board for judges. It is chaired by the first president of the Supreme Court of Justice.
A national law shall determine the number of delegates from the courts of appeal and the number of delegates from the tribunals called upon to elect the members of the Council referred to in numbers 3 and 4 of the first paragraph, as well as the manner in which these delegates are to be appointed.
It shall also determine the conditions under which the Council shall give its opinion on the appointment of judges and on pardons.

Title VII. Auxiliary OrganizationsEdit

Section I. Economic and Social CouncilsEdit

Article 131
A consultative assembly called the "National Economic and Social Council" is created under the authority of the central government.
The Council shall be composed of representatives of the principal economic and social activities of the country and of representatives of the provincial councils referred to in the following article.
It includes an educational section and sections in charge of studying the main problems concerning the various economic and social activities.
The educational section shall comprise sub-sections, each specializing in problems relating to one of the levels of education. It is composed of delegates from the Ministry of Education, representatives of each national and private education network, representatives of the teaching staff and parents of students from each national education network.
The education section shall give its opinion and make proposals concerning school curricula, teaching methods, school planning and coordination, and measures to ensure compliance with the provisions of Articles 33 to 37.
Article 132

An Economic and Social Council is established within the provincial authorities, composed of sections whose number is determined by provincial law.

Article 133
The National Economic and Social Council is consulted by the Central Government or by one of the Houses on any economic and social problem affecting the Republic.
The provincial economic and social councils are consulted by the provincial governments or by the provincial assemblies on any economic and social problem affecting the province.
The National Council and the provincial councils examine, for their opinion, any program, bill or proposal of an economic or social nature of interest to the Republic or the province, as the case may be, which is submitted to them by the central or provincial government, the president of one of the Houses or the president of the provincial assembly.
Any law passed without the advice of the National Council or the Provincial Council is null and void, except in the urgent cases provided for in a national organic law. The same organic law establishes the time limit within which the National Council and the :Provincial Councils must give their opinions. If the councils do not give their opinions within this period, the Houses and the provincial assemblies may adopt the law without the opinion of the Council.
The National Economic and Social Council and the provincial councils may, on their own initiative, draw the attention of the governments to reforms which they consider likely to promote the economic and social development of the country.
They may appoint one of their members to present the Council's opinion on a bill or proposed law to the provincial chambers or assemblies.
Article 134
The National Economic and Social Council and the Provincial Councils shall meet as of right in ordinary session twice a year, on the first Monday of January and the first Monday of February respectively, and on the first Monday of July and the first Monday of August.
At the opening of the session, the National Economic and Social Council and the Provincial Councils shall elect from among their members a President, a Vice-President and two Secretaries.
Article 135
The term of office of the members of the National Economic and Social Council and the Provincial Councils is six years. During the sessions, the members enjoy the same allowances as those allocated to members of Parliament.
A national law regulates the composition and functioning of the National Economic and Social Council and the Provincial Councils.

Section II. Of the Special Joint Commission, fixing allowances and salariesEdit

Article 136
A special joint commission determines, at the expense of public finances, the maximum amount of the indemnities and salaries of the members of Parliament, the provincial assemblies, the central government and the provincial governments.
The committee shall decide by a two-thirds majority of its members.
Half of its members are representatives of the national and provincial governments and the other half are delegates appointed by the National Economic and Social Council from among its members.
A national organic law regulates the organization and functioning of the Commission.

Section III. The Council on LegislationEdit

Article 137
The Council on Legislation is an advisory body under the authority of the Conference of Governors.
Its members shall be appointed by the President of the Republic, upon the proposal of the Conference of Governors.
The Council has branches in the capital and in the provincial capitals.
A national organic law shall regulate the organization and operation of the Council and the status of its members.
Article 138
The President of the Republic and the Governors of the Provinces, each with respect to his own draft acts, and the President of each House or of each Provincial Assembly, each with respect to draft laws emanating from the members of the Assembly over which he presides, shall submit to the Council, for a reasoned opinion, any draft law or other legislative act, any draft decree, ordinance or order.
Except as provided in the following paragraph, any law, any act having the force of law except for decree-laws issued in the cases provided for in sections 96 and 97, any decree, order, or order of the governor whose proposal or draft has not been submitted to the Council for its opinion is null and void.
A national law shall establish the period within which the Council shall give its opinion. If the Council does not give its opinion within the legal time limit, the authorities provided for in paragraph 1 may decide without waiting for the opinion of the Council.
The members of the Central Government and of the Provincial Governments may submit to the Council, for its opinion, any draft of their acts. They may also instruct the Council on Legislation to draw up a preliminary draft of any legislative or regulatory act.

Title VIII. Public FinancesEdit

Article 139
The franc is the monetary unit of the Republic.
It has the power of liberation on the whole territory of the Republic. Its weight in gold is fixed by a national law.
Any bill or proposed law modifying the value of the franc is subject to the prior opinion of the National Economic and Social Council and the National Finance Commission.
Article 140

The finances of the Republic and the provinces are separate.

Article 141
The National Bank has custody of public funds. It is the issuing institution for the whole Republic.
The organization and operation of the National Bank are governed by a national law, the draft or proposal of which is previously submitted to the National Finance Commission and the National Economic and Social Council for their opinion.
The national postal check service has its headquarters in the capital. Each province may open an account there.
Provinces where there is no branch or agency of the National Bank may entrust the custody of their funds to another bank.
Article 142
No tax can be established except by law.
Contribution to public expenses is the duty of every citizen.
No tax exemption or relief may be established except by law.
Article 143
The property, profits or income from industrial or commercial activities of the provinces may not be subject to any tax by the Republic, nor may those of the Republic be subject to any tax by the provinces.
Any taxation by the provinces of goods imported, exported or traded inter-provincially is prohibited.
Article 144
Only Parliament may establish customs duties, income taxes, corporate taxes and personal taxes.
All other taxes, including excise and consumption taxes, may be imposed by both Parliament and the provincial assemblies.
Article 145.
Customs duties, national excise and consumption duties, and corporate taxes are collected by the central tax authorities.
Unless otherwise provided for in national legislation, all other national taxes are collected by the provincial tax authorities. :However, Parliament may, by statute, delegate to a province the power to collect excise and consumption taxes or corporate taxes. A province may, by statute, delegate to local authorities the power to collect taxes within its territory.
Article 146
(1) The proceeds of import duties shall belong to the Republic.
(2) The proceeds of personal and income taxes shall belong to the provinces concerned.
(3) The proceeds of export duties, national excise and consumption duties and corporate taxes shall be divided between the Republic and the provinces in the following manner:
A) The share of a given province varies between a minimum of 45% and a maximum of 75%, according to a progressive rate that varies inversely with the total of said taxes having their source in the province concerned;
When this total is equal to or greater than the maximum amount established by a national law, the share of the province concerned is 45% of the said total;
Where this total is less than or equal to the maximum amount fixed in the same manner, the share accruing to the province concerned is 75% of the said total.
The national law referred to in the two preceding paragraphs shall determine the intermediate tax totals and the progressive rates relating thereto for the calculation of the share.
For the purposes of paragraph 1 of this section, the province concerned shall mean:
- with respect to export duties, the Province from which the exported goods originate;
- with respect to excise and consumption taxes, the province where the taxed materials are produced or the province where the imported materials are consumed;
- in the case of corporate income tax, the province in which the place of business that generated the taxed profits is located.
B) The share not allocated to the province shall revert to the Republic.
4) The proceeds of all other taxes, duties and fees shall belong to the Republic, the provinces or the local authorities, depending on whether they are established by the Republic, the provinces or the local authorities.
Article 147
Each province may grant land leases and concessions on mines and minerals, including mineral oils.
All rents and royalties from such leases and concessions are payable to the Central Government.
The Central Government shall pay to each province 50 per cent of the net proceeds of rents and royalties it collects on minerals and mineral oils extracted in the territory of the province, including its continental shelf.
Article 148
The fiscal year of the Republic and the provinces begins on January 1 and ends on December 31.
The general account of the Republic is established by the national law, and the general account of each province is established by a provincial law.
Article 149

Each province ensures the balance of its ordinary budget. However, in exceptional cases and for duly justified reasons, Parliament may, by law, grant financial aid to a province to balance its ordinary budget.

Article 150

On the proposal of the President of the Republic, Parliament may, by law, authorize the intervention of the Republic in the capital expenditures of a province.

Article 151
The Republic may not borrow or guarantee the principal or interest of a loan, nor carry out works from extraordinary resources, unless authorized by a national law.
However, if the needs of the Treasury so require, the President of the Republic may, without prior authorization, create or renew Treasury bonds bearing interest and maturing in not more than five years.
The provinces may not contract any loan that is not authorized by a provincial law.
Article 152
A Court of Auditors is established in the Republic, composed of councilors, half of whom are appointed by each of the Houses and whose term of office is six years and is renewable.
In order to be appointed as an advisor to the Court of Audit, the candidate must have a university degree or an equivalent degree from a higher education institute or a higher school of accountancy, and have worked for at least five years in a financial service.
The organization and functioning of the Court of Audit are governed by a national law.
Article 153
The Court of Audit has the following mission:
1° to examine and settle the accounts of the central and provincial administrations as well as the accounts of all accountants towards the treasury of the Republic and the treasuries of the provinces;
2° to audit the accounts of the public establishments of the Republic and of the provinces as well as the accounts of other public law bodies and associations.
It ensures that the appropriations for the various expenditure items have not been exceeded and that, where applicable, additional budgets and supplementary expenditure have been approved in accordance with the law.
It approves the accounts of the various departments of the Republic or of the provinces and, for this purpose, requests from the competent authorities all necessary information and documents.
The general account of the Republic is submitted annually to Parliament with the observations of the Court.
The general accounts of the provinces are submitted annually to the provincial assemblies concerned with the observations of the

Court.

Article 154
A National Finance Commission is established, consisting of a chairman and eight members appointed by the President of the Republic.
The manner in which the members of the Commission are chosen and the qualifications required of them are established by national law.
The Commission shall determine its own procedure and shall perform the functions vested in it in accordance with Article 155 of this Constitution.
Article 155
The National Finance Commission shall have the task of making recommendations to the President of the Republic concerning:
1° The distribution between the Republic and the provinces of the proceeds of the taxes they share and the allocation to the various provinces of their share;
2° The principles on which the Central Government must base itself when considering the granting of subsidies to a province under Article 148;
3° Any other matter of a financial or economic nature referred to it by the President of the Republic.
The President of the Republic shall communicate every year to the Parliament various recommendations made by the National Finance Commission in application of this article, together with an explanatory memorandum on the action taken on them.

Title IX. AdministrationEdit

Article 156
The administrative personnel of the national and provincial public services, of the Parliament and the provincial assemblies, of the courts and tribunals, of the auxiliary bodies, of the Court of Auditors and of the Constitutional Court, are governed by a statute determined by national law.
These statutes regulate, among other things, the conditions of recruitment, interruption and termination of functions, the rights and duties of civil servants, their career, the regime of incompatibilities, leave and pension.
It lays down the principles governing salaries and promotion.
The administrative staff of the national public services, of the Parliament and of the courts is the responsibility of the national government, while that of the provincial public services, of the provincial assemblies and of the courts is the responsibility of the provincial governments.
The personnel of public law bodies enjoy the social benefits recognized for public administration employees.

Title X. Law EnforcementEdit

Section I. The PoliceEdit

Article 157
A central government police force is organized for the city of Leopoldville.
Each province shall have its own police force.
The number of personnel, equipment, weapons and the basic principles of police organization are determined by an organic national law.
Discipline of the police force, control of the police force, recruitment and conditions of service of its members are governed by a national law in the case of the police force of the city of Leopoldville and by a provincial law in the case of the provincial police force.

Section II. Of the Gendarmerie and the Armed ForcesEdit

1. The GendarmerieEdit

Article 158
The Gendarmerie is part of the national army and is under the authority of the central government.
It may not intervene in the internal affairs of a province except in the case provided for in Article 163 of this Constitution.
The provincial governor or his delegates have the right to requisition the Gendarmerie in accordance with national law and in the cases and under the conditions provided for by provincial law.

2. The Armed Forces.Edit

Article 159
In the Republic, there is only one National Army, comprising the land, sea and air forces.
The army is at the service of the entire Congolese Nation.
No authority may divert it from its own ends.
No one may organize military or paramilitary formations or private militias, nor may they maintain an armed or subversive youth.
Article 160
A national law determines the methods of recruitment, organization, rules of discipline, conditions of service, and the rights and obligations of the military.
Military service is compulsory; its organization is regulated by a national law.
Article 161

A Defense Council is established in the Republic, the organization, functioning and competence of which are regulated by a national law.

Article 162
The establishment of foreign bases on the territory of the Republic is prohibited.
No foreign troops may occupy or cross the territory of the Republic except by virtue of a national law.
The army may not be called upon to operate outside the country except under the conditions laid down by a national law.
Article 163

The armed forces may only intervene in the internal affairs of a province and thus substitute for the police forces in cases established by national law.

Article 164
The President of the Republic confers ranks in the army and the gendarmerie.
No one may be promoted to a higher rank or be deprived of his ranks, honors and pensions except under the conditions established by a national law.
Only Congolese shall be eligible for military service in the national army.

Title XI. The Constitutional CourtEdit

Article 165
The Constitutional Court is composed of twelve Councillors whose term of office lasts nine years and is not immediately renewable.
One-third of the Court's members are renewed every three years.
One-third of the members of the Constitutional Court shall be appointed by the Conference of Governors, one-third by the two Boards of the National Legislative Chambers and one-third by the Supreme Council of the Judiciary.
No person shall be appointed a Councilor to the Court unless he is Congolese, unless he is eligible for election to the Senate, and unless he has been a member of the bar or has held judicial or legal office or taught law at a university or institution of higher learning for at least ten years.
Without prejudice to the other provisions of this Constitution, the functions of a Councillor of the Constitutional Court are incompatible with those of a member of the Central Government or of a Provincial Government and with the mandate of a member of Parliament or of a Provincial Assembly. Other cases of incompatibility are provided for in a national organic law.
The court elects its president from among its members.
A national organic law establishes the rules of organization and operation of the Constitutional Court and the procedure followed before it.
Article 166
Before taking office, the Councillors of the Constitutional Court shall take the following oath before the President of the Republic in the presence of Parliament, the Central Government, the Governors of the provinces and the Supreme Court of Justice:
"I swear to perform my duties well and faithfully, to carry them out impartially with respect to the National Constitution, to keep the deliberations and votes secret and not to take any public position, not to give any consultation on matters within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court."
Article 167
The Constitutional Court shall be competent to hear:
1° appeals for the assessment of the constitutionality of laws and acts having the force of law ;
2° appeals for interpretation of this Constitution, in the event of conflicts of jurisdiction regarding the extent of the powers conferred and obligations imposed by this Constitution on the national or provincial bodies referred to in article 168, paragraph 2
(3) all matters in respect of which this Constitution confers jurisdiction on it;
4° all matters over which it has jurisdiction under national legislation.
The Constitutional Court ensures the regularity of the election of the President of the Republic and of the governors of the provinces. It examines complaints and, in the case of the election of the President of the Republic, proclaims the results of the vote.
The Court rules, in case of dispute, on the regularity of the elections of the members of the Parliament and of the provincial assemblies, as well as on the decision of the Parliament and of the provincial assemblies pronouncing the disqualification or the compulsory resignation of their members, in accordance with articles 78 and 120.
It ensures the regularity of referendum operations and proclaims the results.
Article 168
The following may appeal to the Constitutional Court for an assessment of constitutionality:
a) National laws: The President of the Republic, the Presidents of the Provincial Assemblies and the Governors of the provinces;
b) Acts of the President of the Republic which have the force of national law: the Presidents of the Legislative Chambers, the Presidents of the Provincial Assemblies and the Governors of the provinces;
c) Provincial laws: the President of the Republic, the Presidents of the Legislative Chambers and the Governors of the provinces;
d) Acts of the Governors of the provinces having the force of provincial law: the President of the Republic, the Presidents of the Legislative Chambers and the Presidents of the Provincial Assemblies;
e) National laws, acts of the President of the Republic having the force of national law, provincial laws and acts of the governors of the provinces having the force of provincial law: the Supreme Court of Justice when an objection of unconstitutionality is raised before it.
The President of the Republic, the Presidents of the Provincial Assemblies and the Governors of the Provinces may appeal to the Constitutional Court for interpretation.
Article 169
The decisions of the Constitutional Court are not subject to appeal.
Any act declared not to be in conformity with this Constitution is automatically repealed.
The unconstitutionality of one or more provisions of an act does not necessarily entail the abrogation of the entire act. The Court's discretionary power is sovereign in this matter.

Title XII. IncompatibilitiesEdit

Article 170
The office of President of the Republic is incompatible with any other public or private office, whether paid or unpaid.
The provisions of the preceding paragraph do not apply to functions that the President of the Republic may be called upon to perform in international organizations and institutions.
Article 171
No one may be a member of the Central Government and a member of a Provincial Government at the same time.
The functions of a member of the Central Government or of a Provincial Government are incompatible with any elective public office and with the exercise of any other public function. However, a member of the Central Government elected to Parliament or to a provincial assembly in the legislative elections held before the end of the term of office of the said government may continue to hold ministerial office until the formation of the government that is to replace the one of which he or she is a member. In this case, he shall not be entitled to the parliamentary allowance.
No member of the central government or of a provincial government may directly engage in commerce. An organic national law determines the professional activities that are incompatible with the functions of a member of the Central Government or of a Provincial Government.
Article 172
No one may be a member of the Chamber of Deputies and a member of the Senate at the same time.
The office of member of Parliament or member of a Provincial Assembly is incompatible with any elective public office. It is also incompatible with the holding of any public office, except that a traditional customary chief who is elected or co-opted as a member of a provincial assembly or of Parliament shall continue to hold the office of member of Parliament or member of a provincial assembly in the chiefdom which he administers and to enjoy the benefits of that office.
Any member of Parliament or of a provincial assembly appointed as a member of the central government or of a provincial government or elected as a provincial governor and who accepts such appointment loses his or her mandate as an elected official after the approval by Parliament or by the provincial assembly of the act appointing the members of the government of which he or she is a member
Article 173
No magistrate may accept salaried functions from the Central Government or from a Provincial Government, unless he or she performs them free of charge.
The functions of a magistrate are incompatible with any elective public office.
The functions of a Councillor of the Court of Audit are incompatible with any public or private office and with any elective office.
Article 174

An organic national law shall provide for other cases of incompatibility.

Title XIII. Constitutional revisionEdit

Article 175
The initiative to revise the Constitution belongs concurrently to the President of the Republic, to the Conference of Governors, to each House of Parliament and to one quarter of the provincial assemblies.
Article 176
The draft revision must be adopted by each House by a majority of at least two-thirds of its members.
The draft revision must be approved by at least two thirds of all the Provincial Assemblies if it tends to modify the provisions of:
(1) Section I of Title I;
(2) Titles II and III;
(3) Articles 54 to 57, 60, 62, 65 to 70, 71 to 74 (paragraph 2) 76, 78, 90, 92, 95, 97 and 99;
(4) Title V;
(5) Section 1 of Title VI;
(6) Title VII;
(7) Articles 142, 143, 145 to 148, 151 to 153, 162 ;
(8) Titles XI and XIII.
When these conditions are met, the President of the Republic shall promulgate the text, in accordance with Article 94, which shall enter into force under the conditions provided for in the same article.
Article 177
The vote of the Provincial Assemblies shall be on the whole of the draft revision to be approved or rejected by a yes or no vote.
In the event of the rejection of a draft revision that includes several articles, the assembly is required to vote again article by article.
When the assembly rejects an article, it is required to propose, by a resolution, amendments to the article rejected by it.
If the amendments proposed by the provincial assemblies relate only to one or a few articles of the bill, the Chambers may limit themselves to the examination of these amendments.
They are joined, at the rate of two councillors per assembly, by a delegation from the provincial assemblies, which they consult for the drafting of a new text. This text is adopted by the Houses only by the majority provided for in paragraph 1 of Article 176 and must be submitted to the provincial assemblies for approval.
In the second round, the revision is achieved when the draft is approved by an absolute majority of all the assemblies.
Article 178
The terminology corresponding to the political structures organized by this Constitution shall be used in official acts, beginning with the third legislature after this Constitution comes into force.
The text of the Constitution containing this terminology and annexed to this Constitution shall come into force at the beginning of the third legislature.

Title XIV. Transitional ProvisionsEdit

Article 179
All laws and regulations existing on the date of entry into force of this Constitution shall remain in force as long as they are not repealed.
Notwithstanding the provisions of the above paragraph, no legislative or regulatory text shall have effect if it is incompatible with any of the provisions of this Constitution.
The term "existing laws and regulations" means all laws and regulations enacted in the Congo by any competent authority, legislative or otherwise, before the coming into force of this Constitution.
Nothing in this Article shall be construed to extend any provisional law beyond the date fixed for its expiration or which would have ceased to have effect if this Constitution had not come into force.
The Legislative Houses elected in 1960 shall be dissolved by operation of law on the date of adoption of this Constitution.
Article 181
Elections for the constitution of new Houses shall be held within six months from the date of entry into force of this Constitution. :This period may be extended by a maximum of three months by the President of the Republic.
Within sixty days of the close of the ballot, the new Houses shall be convened in extraordinary session by the President of the Republic, for the purpose of constituting their boards.
Article 182

The powers of the President of the Republic currently in office shall not expire until the President of the Republic is sworn in and elected for the first time in accordance with the provisions of Article 56 of this Constitution. This first election will take place six months after the first meeting of the Houses elected under paragraph 2 of Article 181.

Article 183

Until the first meeting of the Legislative Houses elected under paragraph 2 of Article 181, the President of the Republic shall exercise the central legislative power by means of decree laws.

Article 184

Within four months from the date of entry into force of this Constitution, the President of the Republic shall establish, by decree-law, the system of elections provided for in Article 181 (paragraph 1) and that of elections provided for in Article 186 (paragraph 2).

Article 185
The Central Government currently in office shall be deemed to have resigned on the date of adoption of this Constitution.
The President of the Republic will appoint a new government, which will be composed of a maximum of 19 members, and whose main task will be to prepare the elections provided for in Article 181 (paragraph 1) and those provided for in Article 186 (paragraph 2).
Article 186
The Provincial Assemblies currently in office will continue to exercise their functions until the first meeting of the Assemblies which are to replace them.
Elections for the constitution of the new assemblies shall be held at the same time as the elections provided for in Article 181 (paragraph 1).
Within thirty days of the close of the ballot, the new assemblies shall be convened in extraordinary session by the provincial governors, with a view to constituting their boards.
Article 187
On the date of entry into force of this Constitution, the Presidents of the Provincial Governments shall become Provincial Governors by right. Their powers in this capacity shall expire on the day on which the governors who are to replace them take the oath of office, and these governors shall be elected by the new Assemblies within the period provided for in Article 104 (paragraph 2).
The other members of the provincial governments currently in office shall continue to hold office until the day on which the powers of the provincial governors expire in accordance with the preceding paragraph.
Article 188
For the preparation and control of the elections provided for in Article 181 (paragraph 1) and those provided for in Article 186 (paragraph 2), a special commission shall be created in each province and in the city of Leopoldville, which shall have at its disposal the forces of law and order to accomplish its mission.
This commission will be composed of six members, namely:
a) Two will be chosen from among the civil servants who are statisticians and demographers, apart from the candidates for election;
b) Two members shall be chosen from among the representatives of the national economic and social organizations that participated in the drafting of this Constitution. They may not be natives of the province in which the commission of which they are members is located.

The members referred to in paragraphs a) and b) above shall be appointed by the President of the Republic;

c) Two members appointed by the provincial assembly, one representing the pro-government group and one representing the opposition group.
However, the Commission sitting in Leopoldville shall include, instead of the two members referred to in subparagraph c), two additional members chosen in accordance with the provisions of subparagraph b).
Article 189
The President of the Republic is authorized to take the necessary measures to provide for his replacement in case of absence or impediment.
These measures shall automatically cease to have effect on the date of the swearing in of the President elected in accordance with the provisions of Article 182.
Article 190
The term Congolese provided for in Articles 76 and 112 shall apply to both men and women.
However, only male voters shall be eligible to participate in the elections that shall be held for the first time after the date of entry into force of this Constitution.
Article 191
The procedure followed by the Provincial Assemblies for the election of their provisional and final boards, for the validation of the credentials of their members, and for the appointment of co-opted Provincial Councillors, shall be regulated by decree-law as long as the Provincial Assemblies have not regulated these matters themselves.
The provisions of Article 87 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the Provincial Assemblies until such time as the latter have regulated the matter.
Article 192
Beginning with the fiscal year following that of the adoption of this Constitution and for a period of ten years, the distribution of the proceeds of export duties, consumption duties and corporate taxes provided for in paragraph 3 of Article 146 shall be as follows:
- 30 to 40% to the Republic;
- 30 to 40% to the provinces concerned;
- 30-40% to be distributed among all the provinces.
Article 193
The share reserved for all the provinces is paid into a special account. It is intended to cover mainly operating expenses and possibly investment expenses.
It is distributed among the provinces according to their fiscal capacity, needs and requirements.
Article 194

During the current fiscal year, the system of subsidies continues to apply.

Article 195
Until it is constituted in accordance with the provisions of Article 165, the Constitutional Court shall consist of seven councilors, at least four of whom shall be Congolese.
The President of the Republic appoints the members of the Constitutional Court upon presentation of candidates by the Conference of Governors.
The Court elects its president from among its members. No one may be elected president of the Constitutional Court unless he or she is Congolese and over 40 years old.
The functions of president and counselor of the Constitutional Court are not incompatible with those exercised in other courts and tribunals.
Article 196

Pending the creation of the Constitutional Court, the Court of Appeal of Leopoldville shall exercise the powers assigned to the Constitutional Court by this Constitution.

Article 197
The Constitutional Court shall be established in accordance with the provisions of Article 165 within twelve years of the coming into force of this Constitution.
The first Constitutional Court to be constituted in accordance with the provisions of Article 165 shall consist of four members appointed for three years, four members appointed for six years and four members appointed for nine years.
Article 198
Until the Supreme Court of Justice is legally established:
1° The Courts of Appeal shall be competent to try the persons referred to in Articles 72 and 109 ;
2° The public prosecutors at the courts of appeal are competent to give the opinion provided for in article 124 (paragraph 2).
Article 199
From the entry into force of this Constitution and for a period of twelve years, the following may be appointed as advisors to the Court of Auditors:
1) The persons referred to in Article 152 (paragraph 2) of the Constitution who have served for at least two years in a financial service;
2) Holders of a six-year post-primary diploma and a state-recognized accounting diploma who have headed a financial department in a public or private organization for at least two years. Applicants are also required to take an entrance exam;
3) Foreigners who meet the criteria provided for in Article 152 (paragraph 2), whose number may not exceed one-third of the members of the Court. The term of office of the foreign advisor shall be renewable only if there is no national candidate who meets the criteria provided for in Article 152 (paragraph 2).
The offices of President and Vice-President may not be held by a foreigner.
Article 200
Until such time as the Council is constituted in accordance with the provisions of article 137, it shall consist of a central section established in the capital city and interprovincial sections.
The Council shall be constituted in accordance with the provisions of Article 137 within ten years of the coming into force of this Constitution.
In the provinces in whose capitals there is no interprovincial section, bills or decrees of the Governors may, in the cases of emergency provided for in a national organic law, be passed without the advice of the Council.
Article 201
As from the coming into force of this Constitution, any territory placed under the administration of a province, but geographically located in another province, ceases by right to be subject to the administration of the province to which it is currently attached by virtue of the laws which created the provinces; it shall come under the administration of the province where it is geographically located.
No such enclaves shall be constituted in the future.
Article 202

Pending the judicial reorganization that will put career magistrates in place in all courts and tribunals, press offenses, political offenses and offenses committed during labor disputes, fall under the jurisdiction of the court of first instance.

Title XV. Tax provisionsEdit

Article 203

The fundamental law of May 19, 1960, relating to the structures of the Congo and the fundamental law of June 17, 1960, relating to public liberties are repealed.

Article 204
This Constitution shall come into force on the day of its promulgation.
Done at Leopoldville, August 1, 1964.

J. KASA-VUBU

For the President of the Republic:
The Prime Minister

Moïse TSHOMBE

The Minister of the Interior

Godefroid MUNONGO

The Minister of Justice,

Léon MAMBOLEO

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