AU mandated to nominate election expert for Congo’s delayed Presidential elections

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) – The African Union (AU) has been mandated to nominate an election expert with the funding of the UN to begin preparations for the holding of the Presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) said on Thursday.

The AU, the UN and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), a regional body bringing together 11 countries in the Great Lakes region, agreed to support the appointment of the AU expert financially supported by the UN, to help with the preparations for the 23 Dec 2018 elections.

President Joseph Kabila’s term ended in 2016, but the country’s National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) later announced the new date for holding elections.

The three organisations which act as the guarantors of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC resolved at a meeting in Addis Ababa, to support the holding of credible and transparent elections as provided for in the 2016 Global Political and Inclusive Agreement.

The agreement signed in 2016 saw the formation of a government with the main opposition parties in the DRC and effectively blocks President Kabila from standing in the next elections for President.

During the Addis Ababa meeting, the AU/PSC, ICGLR and the UN, announced their appreciation for the release of the electoral calendar for the holding of the presidential, legislative and provincial elections.

The organisations jointly called on the government to create the necessary conditions to ensure the holding of the timely, peaceful and credible elections.

The group, which acts as the guarantors of the political and military stability of the Congo, urged the government in Kinshasa, to provide the necessary financial and logistical resources to facilitate the implementation of the electoral calendar.

The international organisations said the government of President Kabila should also guarantee freedom of assembly and guarantee access to critical resources, including the access to state media and the full and effective implementation of the confidence-building measures as stipulated in the 2016 agreement.

The meeting, also attended by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, UN and representatives of Angola, DRC, South Africa, the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes, the AU envoy and the Chairman of CENI, Corneille Nangaa, pledged to solicit support for the holding of credible polls.

The communique issued after the meeting called on the international community to support the electoral process in the DRC.
-0- PANA AO/VAO 23Nov2017

23 november 2017 14:40:30

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