DRC: Church to Deploy Election Observers for December Elections

KINSHASA, AUGUST 31, 2018 (CISA)-The Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) intends to deploy election observers to oversee the December 23 General Elections.

According to their statement released on August 27, CENCO “…Plans to deploy 1026 long term observers and 40,000 short term observers.”

“It is counting on CENIs (Independent National Electoral Commission) commitment to accredit all those observers who will be well trained and to facilitate this important work, which will undoubtedly calm the post-electoral climate,” reads the statement signed by the president of CENCO Mgr Marcel Utembi Tapa and Fr Donatien Nshole the Secretary General of CENCO.

They commended the preparations of the electoral body towards the elections urging the government to support its processes.

“The submission of candidatures took place in a calm atmosphere and in a patriotic spirit, with the exception of Moise Katumbi for which we remind the government to respect the agreement of the New Years Eve,” the bishops said.

Katumbi was locked out of the August 8 deadline for submission nomination papers after he was barred from entering the country on August 3 at the Zambian boarder.

On Friday, August 24, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) also denied Jean-Pierre Bemba candidacy for presidency on grounds that he was convicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in March this year for interfering with witnesses.

In reference to the recent events, the bishops have urged the International community to remain committed in helping the Democratic Republic of Congo to peacefully emerge from the crisis by respecting the provisions of the Lisbon Agreement.