Press release

DRC: African Union Intervenes to Defend Integrity of Presidential Election

Freedom House commends the African Union for its assertive engagement in the electoral process of the Democratic Republic of Congo's recent presidential election.

Washington

In response to the African Union’s call for authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) not to announce final results from recent presidential elections, citing "serious doubts on the conformity of the provisional results," Freedom House issued the following statement:

"We commend the African Union for its assertive engagement in the DRC electoral process given mounting concerns about the validity of provisional results," said Jon Temin, director for Africa programs at Freedom House.  "The African Union has in the past been reluctant to question election results, but in this instance the organization’s intervention is amply justified to defend the integrity of the voting process in the DRC and the principle of free and fair elections, and to advance democracy across Africa. The delegation set to travel to DRC should ensure that the final election results reflect the will of the Congolese people, who showed strong commitment to democratic principles through their participation in the election process."

Background:

On January 17, heads of state from members of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and the Southern African Development Community, along with African Union leadership, met in Ethiopia to assess the crisis in DRC, where provisional election results indicating Felix Tshisekedi as the victor in December 30 presidential elections are increasingly at odds with data showing that opposition candidate Martin Fayulu won the election.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2018.