Press Statement by Jen Psaki Department Spokesperson
The United States welcomes the Parliament of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s approval of electoral legislation that sets the country on course towards timely elections in line with its Constitution. We applaud the efforts of the National Assembly and the Senate to reach consensus and ensure that presidential elections happen no later than December 2016. Parliament’s action today reflects the will of the Congolese people and upholds the DRC constitution. We urge President Kabila to expeditiously sign the electoral legislation as passed by the Parliament and reaffirm that Congo’s first peaceful transition of power will take place through presidential elections in 2016. We also call upon the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) to release a global electoral calendar promptly that is in line with Parliament’s action and the Constitution.
The actions the DRC Parliament has taken today, along with President Kabila’s expected signature, represent critical, albeit initial, steps towards national elections in 2016 and what could be the DRC’s first peaceful transfer in power in its almost 55 years since independence. We encourage all Congolese stakeholders, including the government, opposition, and civil society, to use this opportunity to undertake a peaceful, transparent, and inclusive dialogue about the electoral process moving forward. The United States stands ready to support the DRC in this process.