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Politics Monitor

DRC Elections: EU Urges CENI and Judiciary Address Irregularities

The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) and judicial bodies are called upon to respond to concerns relating to irregularities noted during voting operations last December, according to an appeal from the European Union (EU). The EU recalls that several electoral observation missions have documented numerous cases of irregularities and incidents affecting the entire electoral process.

“The EU encourages responsible institutions, notably the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) and judicial bodies, to address these concerns and pursue the next stages of the electoral process with the greatest transparency and in full compliance with the legislation Congolese law in force. The EU welcomes the publication of polling station by polling station results by the CENI, but simultaneously regrets its lack of communication on key aspects of the electoral process, which did not contribute to providing the desirable clarity to the vote and the compilation of the results”, indicates the press release published Thursday January 11, 2024.

The EU calls on the relevant authorities to investigate in a fair and transparent manner all concerns raised regarding non-compliance with electoral law procedures and allegations of fraud and violence.

“In connection with the final reports of the various electoral observation missions, the EU will offer practical recommendations through its electoral expert mission, in order to contribute to implementing the essential reforms to strengthen the confidence of all stakeholders in electoral institutions and procedures”, adds the EU press release.

The commission of inquiry set up by the CENI to examine the fraudulent acts committed by certain candidates during the December 20 elections revealed its first conclusions on Friday January 5. Eighty-two (82) candidates are involved throughout the territory. They were invalidated before the publication of the provisional results. Patricia Nseya, CENI rapporteur, communicated this list along with the reasons leading to this decision taken against each of the candidates concerned. Fraud, corruption, illegal possession of electronic voting devices, vandalism of electoral materials and intimidation of electoral agents are the main complaints against these candidates.

These various candidates took legal action to obtain the annulment of the CENI’s decision. Generally speaking, these invalidated candidates criticize the CENI for having acted beyond its competence and expect the Council of State to suspend these measures or cancel them because they consider them to be “irregular”. This decision by the CENI also delayed the publication of the provisional results of the legislative elections, initially scheduled for January 3, 2024.

This article is originally published on actualite.cd

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