Southern Africa: SADC Calls for Democracy in DRC Elections

Kinshasa.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has expressed solidarity with the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo ahead of the country's upcoming Presidential, Legislative and Provincial Elections slated for 23 December.

HE. President Hage Geingob said this at the SADC Youth Forum which ended last week.

The two-day forum was held to facilitate youth consultations on key issues such as planning on youth development and empowerment, and to provide recommendations for ministerial considerations and approval.

Speaking in his capacity as SADC Chairperson, Geingob said SADC urged all political players to uphold the freedom of expression, assembly and unhindered campaigning which are the hallmarks of the democratic exercise of the will of the people during this period.

SADC further urged leaders of political parties, civil society, media and law enforcement authorities to promote a culture of tolerance and restraint in line with its revised Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections, to ensure successful, transparent and peaceful elections on Sunday.

"SADC wishes to further emphasise that the forthcoming elections represent a major milestone in the history of the DRC and are instrumental in establishing sustainable peace and political stability," he added.

Geingob noted that the SADC Electoral Observation Mission would continue to closely follow the electoral process and will report its observations to the relevant SADC Organ in line with the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2015).

The region also expressed concern about the loss of life and destruction of property in the recent incidents of violence in Kalemie, Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi, in Kinshasa.

"SADC notes with great concern the destruction of electoral materials after the occurrence of a fire on 13 December 2018 at one of the central warehouses of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Kinshasa," Geingob said. (Nampa).

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