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DRC ELECTIONS: Govt Reassures Citizens Of War Infested Eastern DRC Will Be Able To Cast Their Votes

With less than two months before the DRC goes to the polls to elect its president and new leaders, uncertainty has crowded the participation of some of the voters in the upcoming election due to security instabilities in some regions.

Minister of Communication Patrick Muyaya says government remains optimistic Congolese citizens in the territories of North-Kivu and Mai-Ndombé Provinces will be able to fully participate and express their right to vote in the upcoming 20 December 2023 General Elections.

Rutshuru and Masisi territories in North-Kivu and the town of Kwamouth in Mai-Ndombé Province are currently occupied by the M23 as well as the Mobondo militia groups respectively putting into doubt the participation of citizens or voters’ in the said regions with the polling day fast approaching.

However, state spokesperson, Muyaya said on Tuesday that the government had been making all efforts to ensure the entire population in eastern DRC participates in the elections.

“Today, all efforts made by the President of the Republic aim to ensure that the 2023 electoral process is inclusive, encompassing both Congolese inside and outside the country. For the first time, we have enlisted our compatriots residing in the United States of America, France, Belgium, who will have the opportunity to vote. It is not fair for a government to ignore 1.5 million compatriots, particularly those in the regions from the East, who may not be able to vote” Muyaya said at a press briefing.

With less than 60 days before election, the town of Kwamouth is yet to have its citizens registered to vote after violence broke just before the electoral commission, CENI, was about to conduct the exercise.

Muyaya adds that government was making stringent actions to ensure CENI conduction the voter registration exercise in all affected regions.

“Efforts are currently underway, as I have already mentioned previously, and we hope that the Independent National Electoral Commission will be able to carry out a registration, which could be laborious for other elections, in particular the national and provincial legislative elections, as well as the municipal elections, in order to allow these compatriots to vote for the President of the Republic” he said.

At the meeting of the council of Ministers, Republican President Fèlix Tshisekedi directed Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde and the Ministers of the Interior Security and Defense Peter Kazadi and Jean-Pierre Bemba respectively, to ensure the security of electoral operations in the territories of Kwamouth, Masisi and Rutshuru.

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