The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Independent National Electoral Commission (Céni) has affirmed the scheduled elections on December 20, 2023. However, several challenges persist, primarily related to the deployment of electoral materials.
Céni emphasizes its commitment to adhering to the electoral timetable and has urgently requested four Antonovs and ten helicopters from the President to facilitate the transportation of electoral materials to various locations. The Commission justifies this demand by noting that the limited aircraft available in the country are being utilized by various candidates during the current election campaign, exacerbated by a shortage of fuel.
Denis Kadima, the president of the electoral commission, explains the rationale behind the request: “Under normal circumstances, we would have used boats and other ordinary means. Everything we import today cannot come by sea; it necessarily has to come by air, incurring significant costs. Even within the country, once these items arrive, faster means are required. It’s truly a race against time.”
Kadima highlights the work already completed in terms of deployment, stating, “We are over 90% ready. The only materials still outside the country should leave their countries of manufacture no later than December 10, in a few days. If that is done, all we have left to do is transport them within the country.”
Despite the time constraints, Kadima remains optimistic, citing past experiences, and assures the public about the scheduled elections. “This is not an unprecedented situation. It’s always like this; elections are generally something done at a fast pace,” he states. The government, on its part, asserts its commitment to deploying all necessary resources to ensure the success of this endeavor.