6 February 2018

Southern Africa: Europe, SADC Anticipate Credible Congolese Poll

Kinshasa — EUROPE and Southern Africa have pledged to work together and ensure credible elections when the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) goes to polls hopefully at the end of the year.

The commitment has been made in the DRC capital of Kinshasa where delegations from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the European Union (EU) concluded a meeting this past weekend.

They discussed issues around the ongoing electoral process, which will hopefully culminate in elections that the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) has set for December 23.

Stergomena Lawrence Tax, called on the EU and other international development partners in the DRC to work closely and objectively with the former Zaire in support of the electoral roadmap.

"It is pleasing to note that the EU delegation to the DRC is committed to ensuring that the DRC holds democratic and peaceful elections to the satisfaction and to the benefit of Congolese," Tax said.

She appealed to the European bloc and all international development partners in the DRC to be objective and impartial in their undertakings and support of the electoral process in a manner that would ensure peaceful and credible elections.

Bart Ouvry, the EU head of delegation to DRC, welcomed the assessment of the political situation in the volatile country ahead of the crucial poll.

He called on SADC to continue supporting the DRC and ensure that elections were held as planned.

Polls initially scheduled for the end of 2016 were postponed.

This sparked fatal riots in the major cities of the country while militancy has spread in the remote territories of the 80 million population DRC.

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