DR Congo: National Assembly Mulls Revision of Electoral Code Ahead of 2023 Elections

By Badylon Kawanda Bakiman

As the The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in Central Africa  gears up for  presidential and legislative elections which must, constitutionally, take place in 2023 , the National Assembly is considering reforms to ameliorate the electoral law.

The first plenary session took place on Thursday, April 14th. An electric session because the deputies of the Common Front for Congo (FCC) of former President Joseph Kabila slammed the door denouncing what they call “Dictatorial excesses orchestrated by Christophe Mboso, president of the national assembly” .

Faced with this tension, Christophe Mboso postponed the plenary to Wednesday, April 20.

This will be the fourth time that the 2006 electoral law will undergo changes, after those of 2011, 2015 and 2018.

A few points must imperatively be dealt with in plenary, namely: the possibility of publishing the results in each electoral district after the vote; the obligation to publish the results polling station by polling station and post them on the CENI website; and the obligation to provide the minutes to the witnesses of political parties or groups.

Among the reforms expected from this electoral law, we would like to see, for example, the question of the representativeness of women, the abolition of the electoral threshold, the return of the presidential election to two rounds, the prohibition of substitute members family of the elected official; but also the thorny question of whether or not to abolish provincial assemblies and the election of provincial governors by direct suffrage.

“The fate of future elections is therefore in the hands of MPs. It depends on the bad or good electoral law they will offer to the Independent National Electoral Commission”, Binjamin Muntu, one of the human rights activists in the DRC says.

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