The Governor-General of the Belgian Congo, M. Cornelis, appealed for unity in the territory which?
The Governor-General of the Belgian Congo, M. Cornelis, appealed for unity in the territory which is to become independent June 30, as he addressed the first session of the new Republic's National assembly in Leopoldville, June 17.
In his first speech before the Chamber of Deputies - on behalf of the Executive Council, consisting of M. Bolya, PNP; M. Kasavubu, Abako; M. Kashamura, Cerea; the Governor-General said: "This immense land of the Congo, which the whole world is watching attentively, will be what you make of it. Moreover, what you do in the Congo and what you do with the Congo may be decisive for Africa, possibly even for many other parts of the globe".
Then M. Cornelis, accompanied by the Executive Council, read his speech before the assembled Senate, who later heard a formal declaration by the temporary Secretary-General of the House, M. Galerne. From an election by lot M. Maurice Mandiongwe emerged as provisional President of the Senate. Meanwhile, in the Lower House, M. Peti-Peti of the Luka party - allied to the moderate PNP - was elected provisional President of the Chamber of Deputies.
The same day, the resident Belgian Minister for Congolese Affairs, M. van der Meersch, offered the task of forming a national coalition to Abako leader Joseph Kasavubu, after Patrice Lumumba, president of MNC, had failed in his exploratory mission. Lumumba immediately announced he would form his own national Government. This follows an open political split in the rich southeastern key province of Katanga, where rival provincial Governments have been set up by the Conakat and the Balubakat Opposition - largely tribal parties with a long-standing blood feud.