Lackluster Start to Electoral Campaign in Goma, Despite its Strategic Significance in DRC

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read

While the electoral campaign officially commenced on November 19 across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), no candidate has initiated their campaign or held a rally in the city of Goma. This is particularly notable as Goma serves as the capital of North Kivu, the second-most populous province in terms of registered voters.

In the night from Saturday, November 18, to Sunday, November 19, campaign poster installers waited until midnight, marking the official campaign kickoff, to plaster roundabouts, billboards, and public buildings with images of their respective candidates. However, since then, electoral activities in Goma have been conspicuously subdued.

A few candidates for national and provincial parliamentary positions held meetings on Sunday, including the academic Muhindo Nzangi, the current Minister of Higher Education. However, as of now, no presidential candidate has chosen Goma or its province as the launchpad for their campaign.

Despite being the second-most populous province after Kinshasa, with over 3 million registered voters according to the Electoral Commission, the North Kivu province has not witnessed any presidential candidates vying for attention. This is noteworthy, especially considering that residents in the Rutshuru and Masisi territories were unable to register due to insecurity.

Rebel forces of the M23 control and administer parts of these regions, hindering the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) from carrying out its activities. The absence of presidential candidates in the region is particularly conspicuous given that the security situation in the eastern part of the country is a prominent theme in campaign rhetoric. The muted campaign activity in Goma raises questions about the broader electoral strategy and engagement with this strategically significant province.

Soukaina Sghir

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