Congo-Brazzaville: the Government Wants to Introduce Biometrics in the 2026 Presidential Election

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Prime Minister Anatole Collinet Makosso announced that Congo-Brazzaville will introduce biometrics in the 2026 presidential election. This move, which has long been demanded by the opposition, seeks to address their concerns over the credibility of previous election results. Before implementing this technology, the government will consult various stakeholders.

The path to biometric experimentation has been paved with the completion of the fifth general population and housing census (RGPH5), with results currently being processed. The experiment is scheduled to take place during the next presidential election in 2026, potentially allowing President Denis Sassou Nguesso to run for a fifth term by the country’s constitution.

The Prime Minister’s announcement has sparked a debate, with opposition figure Clément Miérassa arguing that previous consultations on electoral governance have yielded little progress. Miérassa suggests that a serious debate among all political actors is needed before proceeding with biometric experimentation, particularly to ensure the proper control of the electorate.

However, skepticism remains among civil society actors who have closely observed the elections in Congo. They express a cautious stance, stating that promises have been made for too long without significant action. The implementation of biometrics will be closely scrutinized to ensure its effectiveness and fairness in the electoral process.

As Congo-Brazzaville prepares for the 2026 presidential election, the introduction of biometrics brings both hope and skepticism. While the government sees this as a step towards enhancing electoral credibility, the opposition calls for comprehensive discussions on electoral governance. As the debate continues, all eyes will be on the country’s efforts to fulfill its promises and ensure a transparent and inclusive electoral process.

Soukaina Sghir

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