28 December 2015

Congo-Brazzaville: Polls - Opposition Gives Pre-Conditions

The leaders want consensus on universal criteria such as preparation, organization, conduct of polls and proclamation of results.

Leaders of radical opposition parties in Congo on Saturday, December 26, 2015 denounced President Denis Sassou Nguesso's intention to organize anticipated elections in the country and insisted that any election organized in the first quarter of 2016 in contravention of the July 2016 previewed period will be illegal.

The opposition leaders grouped under the umbrella organizations Initiative for Democracy in Congo (IDC) and Republic Front for the Respect of Constitutional Order and Democratic Change (FROCAD) met in the capital Brazzaville. They said that to guarantee peace in the country, they would only participate in the election in case there is consensus on universal criteria such as preparation, organization, conduct of the polls and the proclamation of results.

The leaders further insisted that the participation conditions include an electoral commission whose independence is acknowledged by all.

Other conditions include a viable electoral register drawn up with the expertise assistance of institutions such as the International Organisation of the Francophonie and accepted by all, biometric voters cards and identification of electors as well as a unique ballot paper. IDC and FROCAD leaders called on the population to remain united and alert to stop any attempts to organize anticipated elections.

Government on its part, has drawn up a draft electoral law that focuses on the creation of an Independent National Commission and the use of unique ballot paper in the upcoming elections.

Communication and Media Minister who is also government's spokesman, Thierry Moungalla, reportedly told the press the draft law has been submitted to the Council of Ministers for scrutiny and endorsement. He said it was in line with National Dialogue held in Sibiti last July. President Sassou Nguesso, the minister said gave guidelines with regard to the draft electoral law with emphasis on greater consensus in its conception.


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