The Republic of Congo’s Flawed Referendum Process

Press Statement by John Kirby, Department Spokesperson

The United States is disappointed by the deeply flawed process that culminated in the recent referendum on a new constitution for the Republic of Congo. The credibility of the referendum process was marred by violence, intimidation, and severe restrictions on basic freedoms. In its aftermath, the United States strongly urges all parties to come together peacefully to participate in an inclusive political dialogue. This dialogue should lead to urgently-needed and agreed-upon electoral reforms which will build confidence in and increase the transparency and credibility of the political process and encourage full participation by all parties. We also call on the Government of Congo to respect its citizens’ rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and association, which are fundamental to a stable, democratic society.