Democratic Republic of the Congo - Q&A - Excerpts from the daily press briefing (14.02.18)

Q - At an informal meeting on Monday at the UN dealing with the election process in the DRC, the American ambassador to the UN affirmed that her country opposes the electronic voting system proposed by the Congolese independent electoral commission for the vote normally scheduled for this December. The United States prefers paper ballots to avoid doubts on the outcome of these elections. What is France’s position?

A - France is committed to the effective holding of elections in keeping with the electoral timetable published on November 5, 2017, in respect of the Congolese constitution and the spirit of consensus that prevailed at the signing of the political agreement of December 31, 2016.

It also considers the implementation of measures to “ease political tensions” essential to the holding of calm, credible elections.

The use of machines to print ballots – unprecedented in Africa – merits in-depth study, given the particular context in DRC. This question underscores the need for the independent national electoral commission to agree to the deployment of international experts and to ensure that every aspect of the electoral process is characterized by complete transparency. It is vital to the trust among the parties In this regard, France applauds the consensus among the African Union, the East African Development Community, the European Union, the UN, and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, as well as their willingness to provide technical electoral assistance at short notice.