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Technical Issues Threaten Free, Fair, and Transparent Elections in Congo

Election officers count votes late into the night after elections in Bunia, DRC. October 29, 2006. UN Photo/Martine Perret

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is scheduled to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on November 28, 2011. These elections could to lead to opportunities for peace, stability and growth—or plummet the country back into economic, political, and social upheaval. A number of outstanding issues cast doubt on whether the current electoral process will meet the expectations of Congolese citizens and satisfy basic international standards. Current concerns include:

  1. The ability of the Congolese Electoral Commission to organize and deliver voting materials to polling stations on time

  2. Procedures in place to enable illiterate voters to vote for themselves and cast their ballots in secret

  3. Fair access to the media for all candidates

  4. The promotion of a peaceful environment free of violence and intimidation against candidates

  5. Transparent safeguards to deter and catch attempts at electoral fraud

In a recent Eastern Congo Initiative report, Congo experts Anthony Gambino and Mvemba Dizolele provided recommendations on how to resolve these issues. Read the report