DRC: General Elections on Track Despite Opposition Criticism

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On Sunday 25th June, the Electoral Commission opened the registration ball for the national legislative elections scheduled for 20th December 2023. These elections will be held in conjunction with the presidential elections. From 26th June to 15th July, the contenders for the next legislature will submit their candidacies, but doubts remain as to whether the opposition will participate.

This Monday marks the start of the period for submitting candidacies for the legislative elections. They are scheduled for December at the same time as the general elections, including the presidential election. Candidates and outgoing MPs can submit their applications.

Former president Joseph Kabila has already called on FCC officials to boycott the current electoral process. Opposition leader Martin Fayulu has made his party’s participation conditional on a complete revision of the electoral roll.

Martin Fayulu has threatened not to line up candidates at all levels, and letters began circulating from executives of Commitment for Citizenship and Development, Martin Fayulu’s party, asking him to reverse his decision. Trésor Kibangula, a political analyst at Ebuteli, the Congolese research institute on politics, governance,ce, and violence, explains that the threat to withdraw or boycott Kabila has so far failed to unify the opposition. If the boycott succeeds in immobilizing the political forces to join these plans, it could shift the lines.

However, as long as these are still individual initiatives, it is very difficult to see the Céni backing down Criticized by the opposition and civil society, the Céni nevertheless seeks to reassure. “We are aware that, for some people, elections can be frightening”.

“Don’t be afraid, your votes will be protected. But before that, we are already going to treat all applications and all candidates equally”, assured Denis Kadima, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (Céni).

While the government has announced the restoration of security in Kwamouth, a territory in the west of the country that has been plagued by inter-ethnic violence for the past year, the Céni has also announced that the start of the voter census, which was due to begin on Monday, has been postponed for security reasons.

Jihan Rmili

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