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The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has published the provisional list of electoral candidates, marking a key step towards the elections on 23 December 2018.
This follows President Joseph Kabila’s decision not to stand for election, in accordance with the Constitution.
Six presidential candidates have, however, lodged appeals with the Constitutional Court to challenge their exclusion from the list. The Court’s decisions will be crucial in terms of strengthening confidence in the electoral process. The Court and the CENI must act in a fully transparent and impartial manner, as required by Congolese law.
The New Year’s Eve Political Agreement and Resolution 2409 of the United Nations Security Council call for a truly inclusive process leading to credible, transparent and peaceful elections, which are crucial to achieving a result that will be accepted by all parties and ensuring lasting stability in DRC.
Furthermore, it remains necessary to open up the political and democratic process, respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and implement measures to ease tensions to ensure the success of the elections. At a more technical level, the publication of the final electoral roll, implementation of the International Organisation of La Francophonie’s recommendations and the achievement of a consensus regarding the use of voting machines are also essential to ensuring that the elections are conducted properly.
The EU stands ready to support the electoral process in cooperation with the Congolese stakeholders concerned and will continue to work closely with the countries in the region, the African Union, the SADC and the United Nations, as they can play a major role in the preparation of the elections.