Declaration on DRC Elections from the Embassy of the United States of America

The United States of America recognizes the continued efforts by election stakeholders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to ensure this electoral cycle is inclusive, transparent, and peaceful.  We note that democracies require the participation of their citizenry in electoral processes, and we urge all electoral process stakeholders—including the state authorities, institutions of the republic, civil society organizations, and political parties —to redouble their efforts to build confidence among Congolese citizens in the electoral process and encourage voter participation in the December elections.

We appreciate the National Independent Electoral Commission’s steady efforts to adhere to its electoral calendar and note the overall successful completion of candidate registrations for the legislative and local elections as well as remaining challenges in some territories.  We encourage CENI to publish voter registration lists, budget information, and electoral cartography as soon as possible to demonstrate its commitment to transparency and accountability.

A hallmark of democracies is the protection of basic human rights such as freedom of speech, assembly, association, and movement.  We note with concern reports of physical attacks on political figures, harassment of supporters, politicized judicial proceedings, and arbitrary detentions that could curtail opportunities for candidates during the electoral process and erode public confidence in the government’s ability to ensure a free, fair, and peaceful process.  We urge the government to use all of the means necessary to ensure an even playing field for all candidates and to fully respect due process and the right to a fair trial for those detained.

We condemn harassment and marginalization of women candidates and reiterate that all electoral process stakeholders, whether in opposition or aligned with the governing majority or civil society, have a shared responsibility to prevent and denounce violence and aggression against women candidates, as well as rejecting incitement of violence, and condemning the use of divisive hate speech during this electoral period.

As a partner, we reiterate our support to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the final months of this electoral cycle and note the December elections represent a critical opportunity for the Democratic Republic of Congo to consolidate its important democratic gains and build a more prosperous future for its people.