DRC: Government fears election results tempering

Congolese Interior Minister Peter Kazadi in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, September 18, 2023.
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DRC Elections

The Democratic Republic of Congo declined to authorize satellite equipment for European Union election observers, expressing concerns that it could be utilized to manipulate the upcoming presidential poll later this month, as reported by multiple sources.

“Some organizations come with technology that could effectively penetrate the electronic system of the CENI (Independent National Electoral Commission) and be able to manipulate the election results,” said Peter Kazadi, Minister of the Interior and Security.

In an unexpected move on November 29, the EU called off its electoral mission to the central African nation, citing technical issues.

“We wanted this process to be as transparent as possible. That is why, in a sovereign way, we invited these international organizations. But we will not accept that someone comes to manipulate the elections to change the will of the Congolese people that they will express tomorrow at the polls,” added M. Kazadi.

The government, acknowledging its regret over the cancellation of the observation mission, faced criticism as several officials revealed that the decision was a result of a prolonged request for permits for satellite equipment.

“We will not shut down the Internet. We are not in a situation of war or popular uprising. Tomorrow there will be a morning, there will be a noon, there will be an evening, and we will each sleep tranquilly in our homes,” concluded the Minister of the Interior and Security.

Congolese civil society, the US-based Carter Center and the 16-nation Southern African Development Community will observe the election on December 20th.

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