DR Congo: the EU must support regional positions by urging Congolese authorities to respect the truth of the ballot (en anglais)

18/01/2019

 

Press release

18 January 2019

 

As the High Representative Federica Mogherini and foreign ministers of the European Union (EU) Member States are due to discuss the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the next Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) meeting on 21 January 2019, the European network for Central Africa (EurAc) and its 37 EU member organisations strongly encourage EU policy and decision-makers to support regional organisations’ positions and urge Congolese authorities to proceed to a transparent recount of the votes cast during the election of 30 December 2018. The EU should also continue to call on Congolese authorities to publish the minutes of each results compilation centre. The truth of the ballot is essential to avoid discrediting the electoral processes in the country, especially in the context of the upcoming local elections. This is crucial for the EU to show its support to the population in these very critical post-electoral times.

Indeed, almost twenty days after the presidential, legislative and provincial elections that took place on 30 December 2018, the post-electoral situation in the DRC is today increasingly marked by uncertainty and risk of renewed violence and chaos. As the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) finally published the provisional results of the presidential election on 10 January 2019 declaring Felix Tshisekedi as the new president, results are today strongly contested by some sectors of the opposition and some national observers, in particular by the National Episcopal Conference of the Congo (CENCO). Key regional organisations and actors have also issued strong statements in favour of transparency. In its recent statement, the African Union (AU) High-Level Consultative Meeting of Heads of State and Government called for conformity to the vote cast by the Congolese people. Few days before, the 16-member SADC’s statement called for a vote recount. The President of the Republic of Congo Denis Sassou Nguesso, the current chairman of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), echoed this position, stating that a recount would “provide the necessary assurance to winners and losers”.

Moreover, solid investigations by reliable international media based on leaked data from the CENI and independent data from CENCO electoral observers recently presented evidence that CENI results were rigged and manipulated in favour of the announced incoming president Felix Tshisekedi, instead of another candidate Martin Fayulu.

The tumultuous pre-electoral process was already characterised by the regime’s repeated intimidations, threats, judicial harassments, unlawful arrests, detentions and acts of torture targeting citizen movements actors, human rights defenders, journalists, members and sympathisers of opposition parties. This tense climate of repression is very likely to continue in the current post-electoral process and the situation requires the highest level of attention and action from the EU and EU member states meeting on Monday, reinforcing EU’s current firmness.  

Acknowledging the welcome steps taken by the EU and EU member states in the past month on the DRC, EurAc and its 37 EU member organisations strongly encourage EU policy and decision-makers to firmly maintain their firm position in the future and reinforce it by strongly supporting AU, SADC and ICGLR’s positions by calling publicly for a transparent vote recount and reiterating the need for publishing minutes of each results compilation centre, which are the only ways to ensure a credible and peaceful outcome of this historical electoral process.

 

For media inquiry and/or more information please contact:

Julie Capoulade

Communications Officer - EurAc

Mobile : +32 499 81 01 77

julie.capoulade@eurac-network.org