Brief report on the general elections process in DRC of the second week of the campaigns
Brief report on the first two weeks of the campaigns for the general elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
For the second week, we have observed the diminution of contestations from different political parties over the whole electoral process and the manifest will of the Electoral to handle all the complaints.
The ruling party UDPS has described the campaigns as the first peaceful in the whole history of the Democratic Republic of Congo which many people may agree with, while the opposition continued to argue about the independence of the electoral commission.
The general elections are planned to be held on December 20th, 2023 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where over 43 million Congolese will elect the President, the Members of the Parliament and Councilors at local levels in big cities.
Only two weeks remaining for the campaigns, but what can we learn so far? The following events characterized the second week of the campaigns.
The death of one member of the opposition in Kindu, Maniema Province during the procession for the public rally of Moise Katumbi who is viewed as the main opposition leader, the death of 6 people during the Campaigns of Felix Tshisekedi the outgoing President which happened in Congo Central, the failing of the discussions between the Government and the European Union over the issue of the observers, the starting of the campaigns of some presidential candidates, and one president candidate who desisted in favor of Moise Katumbi.
We do observe that in both incidents the death of people as mentioned above was caused by poor management of the rallies, we also observed that some presidential candidates have not yet even started their campaigns up to now and lastly we continue seeing some candidates who desist in favor of others. It is also the same with those contesting for the Parliament, it is assumed that many do not have the necessary financial means.
We also observe that the population is expecting money from the candidates in order to come for their campaigns and some candidates are viewed well if they give a lot of money to people who came for their meetings. So far the highest amount of money we have heard is 10,000 CF (4$) given to people in terms of transport, while the least amount given so far is 1,000 CF (0,4$) to people who come for the meeting.
The campaigns are so far peaceful and seem to be well managed despite the fact that there are few incidents in situations where the venue for some candidates to hold campaigns from were relocated to a different venue at the very last moment. The message for the different candidates seem not so much provocative and not so much inciting to violence much as some presidential candidates are described by others either foreigners or representing the foreign interests.
We observe that the opposition candidates have spent most of their time in criticizing the current regime rather than presenting their Manifesto and come up with an alternative plan for the country. Actually most of what the opposition is presenting is not far different from the current plans of the Government. In some places MP Candidates are looking for small things as gifts to people such as building the school, building a hospital, giving people some money as starting capital for their businesses, paying school fees for their children.
The Independent National Electoral Commission known as CENI has tried to communicate but the challenges is that many people do not have access to the information, however the social media is playing a very big role.
The main absent in these elections were and remain the organizations of the Civil Society and as consequence most people remain ignorant of so many things during these elections.
The campaigns are going on well and as per now everyone is sure that elections will take place in December 20th, 2023.