In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Swedish MEP Malin Björk detailed on November 21, 2023 the outlines of a European Union observation mission that she is leading in the context of the general elections planned in the DRC on the 20th. December.
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With our special correspondent in Kinshasa, Paulina Zidi
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the electoral campaign is in full swing in the country. It began on November 19 for the general elections scheduled for December 20: presidential, legislative and provincial. (1).
An election which will be observed in particular by the European Union (EU) which sent a mission there. The work has already started and on November 21, it was the head of mission who presented the outlines of this mission to the press.
A Malin Björk who has just arrived from Liberia where she followed the last presidential election as an observer. This time, in Congo, she is at the head of the mission.
Currently, there are around ten electoral experts being deployed in the DRC and around forty long-term observers, a mission lasting several weeks.
These observers arrived on November 17. Currently, they are in training and will be deployed in 17 provinces. On voting day, they will be joined by short-term observers. The EU hopes to deploy nearly a hundred people.
Malin Bjork declared having met political actors, from the opposition power, and the president of the Independent National Electoral Commission (Céni). The Swede insisted on two points: the EU is there at the invitation of the Congolese authorities; authorities that it encourages to disburse as quickly as possible the funds that the Ceni needs to complete this process.
Several other international missions are also planned for this election. The African Union must deploy a team, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), as well as the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) as well. The Carter Center (2) is also being deployed in Kinshasa.
And there are all the national missions. These are the ones that will ultimately best cover the territory. Several civil society organizations have grouped together into several platforms. But the most important will be the common mission of the Catholic and Protestant churches, the Cenco and the ECC, which announce that they can deploy 60,000 observers for this vote.
(1) Partial municipal elections must also take place on December 20, but the campaign for this election will not begin until December 4.
(2) Foundation created in 1982 by former President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter.