The elaboration of this memorandum was initiated by the African Association for the Defense of Human Rights (ASADHO) , which invited several other civil society organizations to jointly reflect upon the electoral process in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the support of the AGEH (Civil Service for Peace).
The following civil society organizations took part in this reflection:
- Amis de Nelson Mandela pour les Droits de l’Homme (ANMDH) ;
- Association Africaine de défense des Droits de l’Homme (ASADHO) ;
- Centre National d’Appui au Développement et à la Participation Populaire (CENADEP) ;
- Organisation Concertée des Ecologistes Amis de la Nature (OCEAN) ;
- Ligue Nationale pour les Elections Libres et Transparentes (LINELIT) ;
- Initiative Locale pour le Développement Intégré (ILDI) ;
- G1000 : Synergie des Forces Sociales en République Démocratique du Congo ;
- Justice Pour Toute l’Humanité (J.P.T.HU) ;
- Comité des Observateurs des Droits de l’Homme (CODHO) ;
- Protection Enfants Sida (P.E.S) ;
- Réseau Ressources naturelles (RRN).
Analysis of the electoral process was conducted according to the program below: – Friday, July 15, 2011: Presentations and nomination of the editorial committee of the memorandum – Tuesday, July 19, 2011: Exchange and adoption of the memorandum – Friday, July 22, 2011: Presentation of the memorandum to embassies, political parties, authorities and media
II. INTRODUCTION Since its independence on June 30, 1960, the Democratic Republic of Congo has faced recurring political crises stemming from the disputed legitimacy of national institutions and their leaders. These political crises evolved into armed conflicts that have persisted for nearly a decade, dividing the country into several factions and destroying the nation’s socio-economic fabric. To end this crisis of illegitimacy, political actors and civil society held an “Inter-Congolese Dialogue” in South Africa in 2002 to renew political order on the basis of a new democratic constitution. The constitutional referendum of December 2005 and the elections of 2006 are evidence of this commitment and carried the hope of the population. III. ANALYSIS The free, transparent and democratic elections of 2011 have yet to begin; however, the Congolese people are already disillusioned with the process because of the non-fulfillment of their wishes and the lack of a focused vision among political parties. Faced with this alarming situation and considering the prevailing socio-political climate in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we as civil society organizations met from July 15 – 19, 2011 to evaluate the electoral process of 2005 and 2006 and to analyze the legal provisions concerning 2011 – 2013 electoral organization. Thus, we conclude that:
- Contrary to the provisions of Article 9, paragraph 1, 10, 11 and 12 of Organic Law No. 10/013 of 28 July 2010 on the organization and operation of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), the CENI did not post the lists of voters in some recruiting centers, thus preventing the population and political parties from identifying deficiencies and assessing the number of voters enrolled in each center;
- The electoral law was not enacted within the predetermined period and did not contain an addendum specifying the drawing of electoral boundaries, the number and location of polling, counting and compilation centers by electoral district;
- After analyzing CENI’s report regarding the enrollment of minors, police, soldiers and foreigners, it was noted that civil society and political parties were not invited to take part in this investigation;
- Throughout the country, an early election campaign began unevenly and in violation of the law;
- Given the long delay in voter enrollment and in the light of the electoral calendar, it is unrealistic to hold elections, register candidates and announce the final results within the constitutional timeframe;
- Given the prevailing climate of suspicion among political actors, the approval of the final election results contains seeds of post-election conflict;
- The exclusion of civil society from the Independent National Electoral Commission, despite its participation in the 2002 political process in Sun City, calls into question the independence and transparency of the CENI’s work;
- The High Council for Audio-visual and Communication (CSAC), a body that must regulate the actions of politicians and private citizens in the media has not been established in accordance with constitutional provisions (Article 212 of the constitution);
- The Congolese National Radio and Television (RTNC) has become a quasi-political instrument of the presidential majority.
Given the above points, the civil society offers the following recommendations:
IV. RECOMMENDATIONS A. To the Independent National Electoral Commission
- Hold an audit by independent experts of the electoral roll in regards to the irregularities in the enrollment process and the resulting mistrust by political actors and civil society;
- Make public the audited electoral roll for transparency purposes;
- Establish a formal mechanism for consulting all stakeholders (CENI, political parties, civil society …) in order to strengthen the public dialogue and reassure groups of proper electoral organization;
- Ensure compliance with the electoral law by all political actors.
B. To the President of the Republic:
- Undertake, as soon as possible, the nomination and appointment of members of CSAC.
C. To Parliament:
- Prioritize all addendum related to the electoral law.
D. To the International Community
- Support the electoral process by demanding its transparency and guaranteeing the security of voters and candidates.
Amis de Nelson Mandela pour les Droits de l’Homme(ANMDH) ; Association Africaine de défense des Droits de l’Homme(ASADHO) ; Centre National d’Appui au Développement et à la Participation Populaire (CENADEP) ; Organisation Concertée des Ecologistes Amis de la Nature(OCEAN) ; Ligue Nationale pour les Elections Libres et Transparentes(LINELIT) ; Initiative Locale pour le Développement Intégré (ILDI) ; G1000 : Synergie des Forces Sociales en République Démocratique du Congo ; Justice Pour Toute l’Humanité (J.P.T.HU) ; Comité des Observateurs des Droits de l’Homme (CODHO) ; Protection Enfants Sida(P.E.S) ; Réseau Ressources naturelles(RRN).