DR Congo-Elections: the European Union and its member states must maintain a firm, united and attentive front.


Press release

The announcement, on August 8th, of Mr Shadary Ramazani’s appointment as presidential candidate for the Front Commun pour le Congo (FCC) is an important step towards the December 23rd presidential elections. However, this step, in and of its own, does not guarantee that inclusive, transparent and credible elections will be organised at the end of the year.

Indeed, the “mesures de décrispation”, as agreed in the New Year’s Eve agreement are still not fully implemented, especially regarding the respect of fundamental liberties and civil and political rights. Public protests are still forbidden and the repression of opponents, activists, journalists and dissenting voices continue through intimidation, harassment and arbitrary detention.

Furthermore, the lack of consensus and trust surrounding the use of the voting machine, as well as the voting register, raise important concerns which have to be rapidly addressed in order to avoid any risk of violence.

Finally, Mr Shadary Ramazani’s appointment, who is under European Union sanctions since May 2017 for having contributed to grave human rights violations, send a worrying signal to the Congolese people and the international community regarding the respect of fundamental rights in the country.

Brune Mercier, EurAc’s director highlights that “the European Union and its Member States must remain firm and attentive regarding the situation in the DRC. The fact that Joseph Kabila is not running for a third term is not sufficient grounds to relieve the pressure: a lot remains to be done to ensure the Congolese people’s right to elect their representatives in a peaceful and free environment. Opening the political space, respecting the December 23rd date, allowing the civil society to monitor and control the electoral process at each step, must, amongst others, be ensured”.

The European Union and its member States, in close cooperation with the United Nations, the African Union and the countries in the region have a primordial role to play in this regards. EurAc calls on the European Union, in particular, to:

  1. continue to demand that the Congolese government fully respect the requirements set out in the Cotonou Agreement as well as in the New Year’s Eve Agreement, in order to restore trust and avoid violence, by ensuring, in particular:
  • the transparent and neutral management of the electoral process by CENI;
  • the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience;
  • the lifting of the ban on peaceful public demonstrations, as well as stopping and condemning the unlawful intimidation, arrest and detention of political opponents, human rights defenders, journalists and members of civil society.


  1. substantially strengthen its financial support to civil society actors involved in:
  • the monitoring and control of the electoral process;
  • civic outreach activities, in particular on the equal participation of women and men;
  • the prevention of conflicts and electoral and post-electoral violence;
  • the protection of human right defenders and civil society activists, as well as the general population.


For further information and/or interview requests, please contact:

Brune Mercier  - Director - EurAc

Office: +32 2 725 47 70 // brune.mercier@eurac-network.org