DRC Presidential Election: CENI Calls Electorate for September 1

The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) has formalized the convocation of the electorate for the presidential election on September 1, 2023, thus marking a further step towards the concretization of the electoral calendar published at the end of 2022.

The administrative machinery is set up a. Candidates are invited to submit their files between September 09 and October 08, 2023 at the CENI premises, located Boulevard du 30 juin, in Kinshasa. A list of criteria, including age, Congolese nationality of origin and experience, is imposed to validate the candidacy for the supreme magistracy. The rigor of this process reveals the importance of this national issue.

However, beyond the formalities, the political atmosphere in Kinshasa is charged. The date set for the general elections, December 20, 2023, although endorsed by the CENI, is causing tension in the ranks of the opposition, which wants a consensus on several issues before the elections are held. Major figures such as Moise Katumbi and Martin Fayulu are calling for a revision of the electoral register, a request that comes up against the determination of the CENI.

In this context, the intervention of civil society is also on the agenda, to ensure electoral transparency. Religious denominations, the central pillar of electoral monitoring, are thus at the forefront. With the financial support of USAID and the United Kingdom, a large-scale observation mission, potentially counting 30,000 observers, is envisaged by the Catholic and Protestant churches.

Cyril Ebotoko, of the Justice and Peace Commission, underlines, on ACTUALITE.CD, the importance of a presence in each polling station, not only to monitor, but also to gather data from adjacent polling stations.

At the same time, the European Union affirms its support by participating in the training of observers from local associations. Jean-Marc Châtaigner, EU representative in the DRC, announces their financial contribution and mentions the possible establishment of an EU observation mission, the decision of which will be made in September.

In conclusion, with the approach of the presidential election, the Democratic Republic of Congo faces a major challenge: to build confidence around this election.

This article is originally published on actualite.cd

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.