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DRC Government ‘Encouraged’ By Voter Registration Drive

  • Peter Clottey

Congolese soldiers talk to a car driver near the area of President Joseph Kabila's office at National palace in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa (File)

Congolese soldiers talk to a car driver near the area of President Joseph Kabila's office at National palace in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa (File)

A top official of the Democratic Republic of Congo says his government is encouraged by the “overwhelming” participation of Congolese in the ongoing voter registration process.

Information minister Lambert Mende said the administration has provided funding as well as logistical support to the Independent National Electoral Commission [CENI] to produce a credible voter list.

“We think by the beginning of August, everything will be okay with the registration process,” said Mende.

The CENI is compiling a registry of prospective voters for the parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for November 28.

Mende said there is every reason to be confident the upcoming elections will be free fair and credible.

“We do have provisions of law that guarantee the freedom of everybody; political party or independent personalities, to proceed in the competition,” said Mende.

“[The CENI] enjoys a total independence, and I don’t know many electoral commissions in Africa that enjoy such freedom as the one in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

He also said the government is taking measures to address the challenges of insecurity in some areas of the country ahead of the general elections.

“Whatever is going on now in North Kivu [province] is less than what we experienced in the year 2006 for the previous elections…So, we think that this will not prevent the electoral commission to achieve [its objective],” he said.

Mende’s comments came after Leonard Mashako Mamba, Congo’s minister of university and higher education, reportedly escaped an attack by an armed group in the north Kivu town of Rutshuru. His driver and his body guard were killed.

The DRC’s government recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo [MONUSCO] for it to provide support to the electoral commission organizing the vote.

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