The European Union (EU) has decided to deploy an election observation mission for the upcoming general elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), scheduled for December 20, 2023. The EU has responded affirmatively to an invitation from the Congolese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As the general elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo draw nearer, set for December 20, the EU has announced its intention to observe the electoral process. This election includes the presidential race as well as provincial and national parliamentary contests, with the campaign officially commencing on November 19. In a press release dated November 6, 2023, Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, revealed the upcoming deployment of an election observation mission to the DRC.
The EU has accepted an invitation from the Congolese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to oversee the electoral proceedings. The mission will be led by Malin Björk, a Swedish Member of the European Parliament affiliated with the left-wing group in the European Parliament.
Thirteen experts will arrive in the DRC as early as November, joined later by 42 long-term observers who will closely monitor the campaign. As the election approaches, an additional 12 short-term observers will join the team. The EU’s statement also mentions the potential inclusion of local observers on the day of the vote.
This mission will continue beyond the election, with a presence until the conclusion of the entire electoral process. The mission’s primary objectives are to provide conclusions and publish a final report, including recommendations.
It’s noteworthy that the EU is deploying this mission at a time when it does not have an ambassador in the DRC. The former ambassador, Jean-Marc Chataignier, departed in August, and his successor, Berlanga Martinez, has yet to present his credentials to President Félix Tshisekedi.