Democratic Republic of Congo: Elections

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 15th January 2019.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many observers the Government sent to the recent election in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and when those observers are expected to report back on the fairness of that election.

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The UK has supported political engagement and strengthening of electoral processes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), funding civic and electoral education, electoral observation, and institutional support. We co-supported approximately 20,000 of the 40,000 observers deployed by the Committee of the National Episcopal Conference of the Congo (CENCO), who covered all voting centres across the country. On 10 January CENCO confirmed that the provisional results announced by the electoral commission are not in line with the data collected by their observation mission. A small number of UK embassy staff were also on the ground on election day to unofficially monitor the situation, but are not in a position to report on the fairness of the election as a whole

The leader of the opposition in DRC, Martin Fayulu, has contested the results and filed an appeal in the constitutional court. As the Foreign Secretary said in a tweet on 14 January, due process must be respected on this legal challenge. This is a critical moment for DRC and the wider region.

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