Congo’s Independent Electoral Commission says rising incidents of violence and threats of a boycott from the country’s Roman Catholic Church will not stop Sunday’s historic elections from taking place. Grace Lula is a member of the Independent Electoral Commission; she spoke with VOA English to Africa reporter James Butty, saying that all is set for Sunday’s poll.
“I think the Electoral Commission is ready. We have done our best so that we can be ready on Sunday for the presidential elections and the legislative one at the national level.”
Lula says her commission is not intimidated by threats of parishioner protests from the Catholic Church to boycott Sunday’s election.
“This is not the first time that the Catholic Church says about that. This must be I think the second time or the third time that the president…is speaking of fraud, is speaking about the conditions which are not ready for Congolese to go through the electoral process. But I think that all is ready. I think that the Congolese people are ready for this election.”
Lula says voters will be well protected.
“I think that the security is there. We’ve got our police who are ready to do that job for security, and there is also the European army which is here, and I am sure that even if the country is very large, in the countryside people can go to the election on Sunday without any problem.”
The Congolese official says the Independent Electoral Commission did its best in promoting easy access to polling stations in rural areas. She also says all candidates have access to the media.
“There is a high commission that we call in French “haute authorite des media” (the high authority of the media) which controls all the access to the media. But there is the fact that among the candidates to the presidential elections, there are some of them who have got their own radio stations. We’ve got big difficulties lets say to regulate their access to their own media. But for the state media, all the candidates have got access.”
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