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HomeBreaking NewsDECEMBER 20 POLLS: Civil Society Raise Concern In Congo's Voter Registration Exercise

[AUDIO]DECEMBER 20 POLLS: Civil Society Raise Concern In Congo’s Voter Registration Exercise

Preparations for the December 20, 2023 general election in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is facing numerous difficulty as observed by the Electoral Observation Mission of the Catholic and Protestant Churches (MOE CENCO-ECC).

On January 19, 2023, the civil society organization released its mid-term observations on the conduct of voter identification and registration operations in the first operational area.

This follows work carried out by 196 long-term observers trained and accredited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) in ten provinces concerned. They collected data relating to voter identification and registration operations, electoral administration and security, civic education and incidents related to operations.

In total, they sent 1,674 reports from December 27, 2022 to January 13, 2023, which were summarized as follows.

The MOE CENCO-ECC noted “cases of malfunctions of enrollment kits and disruptions of said operations due to breakdowns, battery charging problems and untimely shutdowns of the machine in several enrollment centers”.

Observers report that, “there are registration centers that are not open and non-operational, or even non-existent, although listed in the CENI’s cartography” while in other CIs, ” the daily lists of those registered are not systematically displayed or even if they are, they are torn away.”

They also pinpoint the poor management of queues and the non-respect of the security perimeter resulting in the purchase of services, especially in Kinshasa.

Based on these observations, the EOM CENCO-ECC formulated recommendations with regard to the various stakeholders in the electoral process.

They asked the Ministry of the Interior to ensure that the security forces deployed in the registration centers are well trained and properly ensure the security of electoral personnel and equipment as well as applicants, witnesses, journalists and observers.

To the CENI, ” to extend the duration of the operation of identification and enrollment of voters in the CIs having opened with a delay and those having been victims of cases of malfunctions thus resulting in the interruption of operations for hours, days and weeks”, taking into account the lost time.

The MOE CENCO-ECC encourages the CENI to strengthen the presence of technical controllers in order to resolve the deplored breakdowns as soon as possible and to make available to political parties and civil society the awareness tools it has produced.

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