SOEM issues Preliminary Statement following the Presidential, Legislative and Provincial Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Date Signed

Kinshasa, DRC: On 22nd December 2023, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) jointly released its Preliminary Statement with other International Observation Missions to the Presidential, Legislative and Provincial Elections of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Mission, under the leadership of His Excellency Mr. Enock Kavindele, Former Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia was joined by the African Union Electoral Observation Mission, led by His Excellency Hery Martial Rajaonarimampianina Rakotoarimanana; Former President of the Republic of Madagascar, Economic Community of Central African States (ECASS), Election Observation Mission led by His Excellency, Philémon Yunji Yang, Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Cameroon and by the Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC Countries led by Honourable Justice Dr. Chifundo Kachale, Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission.

In his presentation of the statement, His Excellency Kavindele, praised the citizens of the DRC for having gone out to exercise their constitutional right to vote for their leaders as elections are vital component in solidifying the promotion and consolidation of citizens' participation in decision-making processes and democratic practices and institutions.

The Head of Mission commended the Government of DRC in taking the first steps in allowing diaspora voting in five (5) countries; USA, Canada, South Africa, Belgium and France and hoping that this would be extended to more countries in subsequent elections.

Furthermore, he emphasized the significance of SADC's proactive involvement in providing essential support to address pertinent issues. The Election was observed in accordance with the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2021) and the relevant laws. The Preliminary Statement encompasses the Mission's observations during the pre-election period and voting day activities. As per the Principles and Guidelines, the mission will issue the Final Report within 30 days from the release of the Preliminary Statement.

The Release of the Preliminary statements was also attended by His Excellency Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania and Chairperson of the SADC Panel of Elders.